Mentally taxing tasks can dampen our perception of taste, according to a new study published in Psychological Science.
From the Scientific American article:
In four experiments, participants attempted to memorize either a seven-digit number (a heavy load on the brain) or one digit (a light cognitive load) while tasting salty, sweet and sour substances and rating each food’s taste intensity. In all experiments, participants under the heavy cognitive load rated each type of taste as less intense, and they also ate more of the sweet and salty substances.
Researchers concluded when it comes to multitasking and having a bite, “cognitive load” may be competing with our sensory output for attention. While other studies have found that mindful eating can lead to less intake, this study gives a reason for paying full attention to your food: it’ll taste better.
If you want to learn more about mindfulness and eating, you might want to check out “Mindful Snacking” in the April issue of Mindful magazine. Jean L. Christeller, cofounder of the The Center for Mindful Eating and founder of Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness training (MB-EAT) takes us through a mindful eating technique for snacking.