Coffee – It’s not black and white

Do you love your coffee? And if you do, do you feel guilty about it? After all, coffee seems to be bad for you and many health experts discourage its consumption. But as with most things concerning health and nutrition: It’s not black and white.

We all know people who can guzzle a “venti” (20 fl oz = 600 ml) and still have a nap afterwards, when others only so much as sniff an espresso and are wired all day long. That’s because how you respond to caffeine – coffee’s most predominant active compound – is governed by your genes, some of which affect the way your liver processes caffeine, others influence how the brain reacts.

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Acquired Taste

You positively hate broccoli? Or Brussels sprouts? Or oysters? These and many other foods are often referred to as “an acquired taste”, which usually translates into “this doesn’t really taste good”. But did you know that most tastes are “acquired”? You weren’t born liking or disliking most things. It also means, that you can get used to almost anything, with very few exceptions.

 

We were born to like sugar. Sugar is a quick source of energy, and until very recently in our history it was rather hard to come by. In nature, you would only find it in fruits, root vegetables, pumpkin and squashes, honey and sugar cane – food items that were not available everywhere and not throughout the year. The riper the fruit, the more sugar – and other nutrients – it contains. Loving the taste of sugar means that we would make the most of those foods when we could find them.

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