Few foods can make you feel as warm and happy as a big bowl of pasta.
Or a few thick slices of warm bread smothered in creamy butter.
Carbs are life.
Trying to cut down on them during periods of inactivity can as hard as quitting a genuine addiction.
But it turns out that we’re actually designed to love carbs.
Because scientists from Deakin University in Australia claim that we’ve got a sixth tastes sense that might explain our love of pasta and bread.
The new study challenges the traditional idea that carb cravings are driven by sugar – claiming that some people can directly taste starch.
And those who are more sensitive to the taste often tend to have a larger waist circumference – which might explain why some people are more likely to be obese.
‘We specifically looked at waist measurements, as they are a good measure of the risk of dietary related diseases,’ says researcher Julia Low.
‘Those who were sensitive to the carbohydrate taste ate more of these foods and had a larger waist.’
The study looked at 34 adults and found that the mouth can sense two common carbohydrates found in bread, pasta and rice.
It then looked at how sensitive people were to that taste, what their carb intake and overall calorie intake was like, and how large they were around their waists.
As an increased intake of energy-dense foods by sedentary communities is thought to be responsible for the every looming obesity crisis, this may be the start of helping and understanding certain food cravings.
‘What that could mean is that individuals who are more sensitive to the “taste” of carbohydrate also have some form of subconscious accelerator that increases carbohydrate or starchy food consumption,’ says study lead Professor Russell Keast.
‘But we need to do much more research to identify the reason why.’