A woman tastes fat with her nose plugged in a Deakin University sensory lab. (Image: supplied by Deakin University.)
By Imogen Brennan for ABC News.
Eating a diet that is too high in fat may lead you to unintentionally reset your taste buds and set yourself up for overeating, say researchers at Deakin University.
Now researchers say they have found that it is possible to change a person’s threshold for tasting fat.
Professor Russell Keast from Deakin University’s Centre of Advanced Sensory Science said when a person had a high fat diet and was overweight, they would be less sensitive to the taste of fat.
In the latest study published in the international journal Obesity, 53 overweight and obese people were put on a weight-loss diet for six weeks.
Some were given a low-fat diet, where less than 25 per cent of their total calories came from fat.
The others were put on a portion-controlled diet, where their calories were reduced, but 33 per cent of that intake came from fat.
Both groups of participants lost about the same amount of weight during the six weeks.
But only the people on the low-fat diet increased their sensitivity to fat, as well as the ability to identify fat in foods.
“It’s some form of re-tuning or adaptation of the senses,” Professor Keast said.
“When we get to a level where we can actually identify the taste of fat, it’s actually very unpleasant.”
People need to taste fat 'to feel full'.
Professor Keast said what researchers were measuring in the mouth was also being reflected throughout the gut.
"If you require high concentrations to be able to identify fat in the oral cavity, the same thing is happening in your gut," he said.