A surprising reason to say no to junk food, according to science

Do you find yourself constantly grabbing muffins to go with you morning coffee Or find that you can’t pass through the snack aisle at your local supermarket without tossing a bag of chips in your cart, everyone has their faults when it comes to less than healthy meals. In fact, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Between 2013 and 2016, 36.6% of Americans admitted to giving in to their fast food craving any day.

However, new research shows that it’s not just your willpower that affects how likely you are to reach for less than a healthy breakfast when you’re feeling peckish. A new research article published in nature human behavior It was found that it is a more time-consuming process to determine whether a food will be enjoyable to eat than it is to consider it healthy.

To conduct the study, researchers from the London School of Economics and the Department of Management’s Department of Political Science asked a group of 79 adults to choose between two different foods, containing both healthy and unhealthy options, from 300 different foods. different time. The study’s authors found that it took study subjects half as much time to determine the taste of a food as it took for them to decide on its relative health.

related: This Is the #1 Worst Nighttime Snack for Your Waist, Says an Expert

“Our findings suggest that often it is not our fault that we give Unhealthy foodOur brains are just too slow to process how good a food tastes compared to how healthy it is. We know very well how healthy or unhealthy a food is, but our brain first thinks about how food tastes,” explained Nicolette Sullivan, PhD, assistant professor of marketing at the London School of Economics and Political Science. in a statement.

Sullivan explained that this may be part of the reason why some individuals hold themselves up to less healthy fare against their better judgment.

eating cookies

“This means that we can eat biscuits, not because our desire for a tasty snack overwhelms our limited willpower, but because information about the future health consequences of eating that biscuit is so early in our decision-making process. Doesn’t admit that can influence the choices we make, Sullivan said. “We may have already made up our mind to eat a biscuit by the time our brain has figured out how unhealthy it is. We make unhealthy choices because it takes us too long to process information about whether a food is healthy or not. “

While cognitive processing time can be a deterrent in choosing healthy food, research shows that deliberately practicing delayed gratification can help people make healthier food choices.

A 2009 study published in the journal marketing letter found that when individuals ordered groceries that would arrive either the next day or two days later, those who received their food later made healthier choices overall. Similarly, a study published in 2016 Journal of Marketing Research found that individuals who ordered a meal and planned to eat it shortly thereafter chose a higher-calorie fare than those who ordered their meal at least an hour before planning to eat it was.

If you want to make your next meal a whole lot healthier, check out these 11 Surprisingly Healthy Fast-Food Orders, According to Experts, and for the latest healthy eating news delivered to your inbox, Sign Up For Our Newsletter!

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