Spice up your meals to curb salty, sweet cravings, study suggests

Image via Pixabay

Spicing up your diet might just be the secret to solve your salty and sweet cravings.

Research has suggested that by simply spicing up your diet can help you consume less salt and sugar, a report said.

Spicy food can even “potentially improve your health even beyond reduction of salt and sugar,” it added.

Image via Pixabay

According to a study which involved 600 people from China, consuming spicy foods “effectively enhanced one’s sensitivity to salt, thereby helping people crave and consume less salt.”

But how?

The author of the study, Dr. Zhiming Zhu, revealed that his team thinks that spicy food can trick the brain when tasting salty food.

“It makes us taste the same (level of) saltiness even when a reduced amount of salt is actually consumed,” Zhu said.

Image via Pixabay

They also discovered that people who “regularly enjoy spicy foods consumed 2.5 grams less salt in a day compared to those who typically steer clear of spice.”

Further, eating spicy foods may potentially curb one’s sugar cravings as well.

Chili peppers contain capsaicin, a compound in chili peppers that is responsible for the burning sensation we experience when eating them, according to CNN Health. It added that the capsaicin has the ability to suppress sweet taste.

Image via Pixabay

Experts, however, said that effects of spicy foods in the intake of sweets may vary as some previous studies showed that instead of decreasing one’s desire to eat sweets after a spicy meals, the craving for sweets actually increased.

Another study showed that adding spice can actually curb sugar cravings; pointing out that “when people added half of teaspoon of red pepper to their lunch, they had a decreased desire to eat sugary, fatty, and salty foods.”

But the effects were only seen among those who didn’t regularly consume red pepper, the report said.

However, there’s no harm in trying right?