Nutrition, as one of the basic human needs, serves not only to satisfy hunger and to cover the need for nutrients, but also to give sensory satisfaction: the food must taste good and the meal should be eaten in a calm and pleasant atmosphere. will not depend only on satisfying the hunger: Does the appetite grow with food? Yes, but only when we serve a meal consisting of products and dishes with different taste and smell values. This mechanism is called sensory specific satiety.

Sensory specificity is a decrease in the desirability,” degree of liking “of the currently consumed product or food and related reluctance to further its consumption, while being ready to consume products and dishes with different sensory characteristics – taste, smell, color or texture.

How is it that we lose the desire to finish the dinner, but after a while we reach for a donut or other sweet dessert?” The receptor cells of the senses of taste and smell are active, thanks to different types of chemical substances that stimulate them to create an impression.

When a meal with a certain taste and smell is consumed, the ability to transmit signals from the receptor to the brain is impaired due to the” depletion “of chemical stores in the receptor. Neuronal reactions in the brain are also weakening, and the taste, smell and other sensory properties of food are less pleasant for the consumer.

As a result, the food loses its taste and we lose our taste, but at the same time we are tempted by a product with completely different sensory qualities that will taste great, because the otherreceptor cells are working properly an earlier feeling of satiety.


Sensitivity specific in studies

The existence of a sensory-specific satiety mechanism has been confirmed by research, including Jan Gawęcki and colleagues from the University of Life Sciences in Poznan.” The group of people observed by J. Gawęcki evaluated their preferences for various products on a 5-point scale before eating frankfurters and after eating them fill.

After eating, the biggest decrease in the value of assessments concerned sausages, but also foods with a similar taste of grilled chicken and cheese crackers. The group of respondents after fruit consumption much more attractive seemed fruit and pie with plums. Interestingly, it seems that the satiety mechanism is sensory Specifically, it occurs mainly in young people, while older people are not susceptible to it.

It involves the impairment of the sense function responsible for the pleasure of eating, and results in a too monotonous diet and the formation of nutritional deficiencies. The mechanism is also more strongly observed in women than in men.

The studies have also shown that sensory specific satiety is independent of the energy value of a meal consumed and changes in the sense of hunger and satiety, and the weight of the subjects is not affected.

Another study (Rolls and coworkers) showed that a variety of meals favor increased consumption.” The participants were fed 4 meals, including bread, butter, sausage, dessert chocolate and bananas, followed by 4 meals consisting of one When the meals were varied, their consumption increased by 44%.

The mechanism of sensory specificity can be compared to a dinner buffet or Christmas Eve dinner – many types of food stimulate receptor cells and increase appetite .It is interesting that even just chewing food or just sniffing it for as long as it was consumed, causes sensory fatigue and leads to the end of the meal.


How to use the mechanism of sensory specificity?

The occurrence of sensory-specific satiety favors the diversification of meals and allows us to better meet the needs of the body.” After some time, the food consumed will simply get boring, and we are looking for a completely different product instinctively.

This makes it easier to avoid eating certain nutrients in excess, and others in too small quantities.

It is well known that the nutritional value is different for different product groups, for example, meat and cheese is a good source of protein, fat and B vitamins, and vegetables and fruits provide carbohydrates, vitamin C and antioxidants.

The more one-sided the nutrient composition of a given product is, the more distinct the taste, so the mechanism of sensory specific satiety will be faster.

The occurrence of sensory-specific satiety is related to the tendency to hedonic hypertrophy, ie over-consumption of food for pleasure.If we prepare a monotonous meal, we will eat less than it will be varied and visually attractive. Even more we will eat when there are several dishes of different colors to choose from and deliciousness.

Sensory specificity can also be used in the process of slimming, being aware of its occurrence, so meals should be composed so that they are not very varied – we will eat less then, get a better negative caloric balance, and consequently we will lose weight.

Choosing food, we are primarily guided by our own preferences. The most important is whether we like the product, and the body’s physiological reactions tell us. Preferences have a very big impact on the way of eating, but it is not the only factor.

What matters here is also the availability of food, convenience, cultural habits, and advertising.” It can be safely said that listening to instincts and signals flowing from the body is a good way to proceed Sometimes we have a great desire for a product, for example tomatoes, for which we do not like what day. Let’s meet this desire, because in this way we will complete the diet according to the needs of the body.

Nowadays, you can not uncritically trust your instincts, because very easy access to food can result in obesity, because since the best sweet taste is the best from birth, our preferences are naturally directed towards sweetness

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