A new study has suggested that food with “hyper-palatability” is essentially too tasty for our brain to handle. 

It is well understood that craving sugary or salty treats is scientific in nature. The chemistry in our brain is altered when eating these sorts of foods, the reaction being likened to the response to addictive drugs. 

Scientists from the University of Kansas recently published research in the journal Obesity that defined the term hyper-palatability. They said, “the synergy between key ingredients in a food creates an artificially enhanced palatability experience that is greater than any key ingredient would produce alone.”

The researchers found that certain combinations of foods create hyper-palatability; some of these included sodium and fat, fat and simple sugars, and sodium and carbohydrates. They also found that many of the products labelled low, reduced, or no sugar, salt, or fat, remained hyper-palatable, meaning the ‘good-for-you’ foods are still encouraging over-indulging. 

“We need more evidence—but eventually if research begins to support that these foods may be particularly problematic for society, I think that could warrant something like a food label saying ‘this is hyper-palatable’,” said lead researcher, Tera Fazzino.