How The Color Of Food Affects The Way You Eat It

February 16, 2017  |  
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Have you ever eaten way too much and not really known why? The dish was good, to be certain, but it wasn’t like ice cream on top of a brownie good. And you definitely didn’t have anything going on in your life that would have driven you to eat emotionally. But something about the food had you keep coming back for more. It may have been the color of your food. Food’s color can affect much more than just how much you eat of it, of course. It can affect your happiness, your energy and so much more. Here you were choosing your foods by calorie content and brand (and your best friend’s recommendation), but maybe you should have brought a color chart along with you. Here’s how the color of your food affects the way you feel and eat.

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Darker fruit

When fruit, like an apple, has a higher red content in its peel, people perceive the apple as sweeter.

 

 

 

 

 

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A tip you can take

If you’re trying to get more fruit in your diet, perhaps buy things like apples, cherries, and raspberries that feature a deep red hue because you’ll believe they’re tastier than they are.

 

 

 

 

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Color and flavor association

When it comes to dyed foods like popsicles, we actually associate a certain color with a certain flavor. We expect the orange-flavored popsicle to be colored orange. People can, in fact, perceive an apple-flavored popsicle as orange-flavored if it has been dyed orange.

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A tip you can take

Don’t eat foods that have been dyed! Eat popsicles made with real fruit, water, and sugar. Let yourself become accustomed to those more natural flavors.

 

 

 

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Color and freshness

Most people do not know this, but farm-raised salmon isn’t a lovely pink but more of a gray color. The seafood industry tends to dye its salmon pink, though, because people associate gray with food that’s gone bad.

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A tip you can take

It’s perfectly normal for things like salmon and shrimp to be gray. Remember that once you cook these, they will turn pink. So don’t shy away from the less-than-dazzling seafood. If you know for a fact that it’s fresh, then it is, and it’s better for you without the dye.

 

 

Squid ink pasta/Flickr.com

Black foods can kill you

You want to try the squid-ink pasta, but something always turns you off from it. It tastes exactly like regular pasta, and yet, your mouth resists it. That’s probably because we associate the color black with death and bad luck.

 

 

Black rice/flickr.com

A tip you can take

Treat black food like blue food; if there is food you’re addicted to and want to cut back on, get the black version. So get black licorice, black rice, and black cookies.

 

 

 

 

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Bright and bold is healthy

There’s a reason you love one grocery store’s produce aisle and can’t stand the one of another; one of those stores chooses the brightest, most colorful batches of produce, and the other opts for the less expensive, duller fruits and veggies. But the former store knows what they’re doing because people believe bright and colorful produce is higher in nutrition than dull produce.

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A tip you can take

Places that only buy from farms that have specifically bred and harvested colorful produce usually hike up their prices. But their bell pepper is no more nutritious than the cheaper one at the other market, so go there.

 

 

 

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Blue means bad

Since blue is a color that rarely appears in natural foods (think about it; not even blueberries are actually blue, and there certainly aren’t any blue mushrooms out there), people tend to associate blue with something manufactured, injected with chemicals and simply unnatural.

DYLAN'S CANDY BAR PARTY IN A BUCKET

A tip you can take

If you’re trying to cut back on certain unhealthy foods like candy and ice cream, buy blue varieties of these (like blue M&Ms and blue bubblegum ice cream). Your brain will tell you to stop eating these sooner because it will believe they’re unnatural. And they are.

 

 

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Yellow makes you happy

We all know there is something behind those big yellow arches at McDonald’s. They just beckon you in, don’t they? That’s because they make you feel happy and energized, and when you feel those things, you want to eat more.

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A tip you can take

Be very careful around French fries; their yellow hue is part of the reason you can take down an entire stack-for-two all by yourself.

 

 

 

 

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White food doesn’t count

Want to know why you could snack on popcorn for hours? Well, first of all, because it’s tasty. But second of all, it’s because it’s white. Your brain associates white with emptiness as in empty of calories. But that’s simply not true.

 

 

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A tip you can take

If you need to snack on popcorn, make sure it really is the healthy kind. That means no butter or flavoring added. When you eat plain popped kernels, this food almost doesn’t count. Almost. But for the record, mozzarella cheese definitely counts.

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