The Bliss Point Consideration | When Food Tastes Too Good
There is a concept in the food industry known as the “bliss point”. It refers to the perfect combination of salt, sugar, and fat that makes food taste incredible and makes people want to eat more. Many even become addicted to these particular foods. When I think of the bliss point, foods like doughnuts, cake, chips, pizza, and cookies come to mind.
The bliss point stimulates the reward centres in the brain. Most of us know that eating can feel incredibly rewarding. Consuming foods where the bliss point applies can often trigger even more cravings and hunger. Companies spend a lot of money to ensure that their products have the exact combinations and ratios of ingredients so that they will reach the bliss point.
When researchers took a group of rats and gave them either pure sugar or pure butter, the rats ate it, but then stopped after a short while and did not overeat. They did not gain weight or get health problems. But, when researchers combined sugar and butter, the rats ate a lot more, gained quite a bit of fat, and experienced health problems.
This combination of nutrients can make your brain light up like a Christmas tree and send dopamine firing in your brain. Mouth pleasure also has a profound effect when it comes to food and the level of enjoyment. Sometimes, people might even crave the texture of a certain food more than the actual food itself.
Chocolate is a perfect example. Just imagine a block of (hopefully dark) chocolate melting in your mouth or the creamy texture of the perfect cheesecake. Have you ever experienced a rush throughout your entire body when you eat a dessert?
Food can be exciting, thrilling, rewarding, and addictive. But… I love it and therefore choose to embrace my love of it. You do not have to avoid foods that have the bliss point, but just be aware of the fact that there is a reason why we love these foods so much, why we want to consume them a lot, and therefore, why the companies that sell them make so much money.
Sugar and Fat Bingeing Have Notable Differences in Addictive-like Behavior. Nicole M. Avena, Pedro Rada, Bartley G. Hoebel J Nutr. 2009 Mar; 139(3): 623–628. doi: 10.3945/jn.108.097584