Thursday 18 August 2022 10:52 AM Which one best defines YOU? Researchers discover 400 genes that decide what ... trends now
Whether you're a sweet or savoury person is all in your genes, according to a study.
Researchers have found our preference for foods from cheese to cake has more to do with our DNA than upbringing or cultural differences.
In the largest study of its kind, researchers from Edinburgh University looked at 150,000 people's fondness for over 100 food and drink products.
The team identified there are more than 400 genes that influence our food preferences — and they come in three main clusters: highly palatable, low-calorie or 'acquired tastes'.
However, the findings don't mean everyone falls into one exclusive category — people's genetics can make them like foods from all three groups.
But the finding explains why some people crave chocolate and sweets, while others get more enjoyment from eating healthily, and even why marmite is so polarising.
Within these three main groups, there are even more genetic quirks that decide whether someone prefers an apple over a banana, or milk chocolate over dark chocolate.
A better understanding of what drives peoples' food choices could help explain why find it difficult to make healthy food choices and struggle with their weight — which could lead to better diet plans, they said.
Researchers from Edinburgh University looked at 150,000 people's fondness for over 100 food and drink products. The team identified there are more than 400 genetic variants that influence how we taste, enjoy and crave different types. The researchers used their findings to develop a map which reveals there are three main clusters of genetic differences that matched up to three food preferences — low-calorie, acquired taste and highly palatable (shown in graph)
The full food map: Edinburgh researchers set out how more than 400 genetic variants mean people like specific foods (list on outside wheel), such as horseradish, crisps and cucumber. While genes are linked with making people like these specific foods, others are linked with enjoying flavours, such as sharp, deep fried and salad vegetables. These foods and sub-groups fall into one of three clusters of foods - acquired tastes (blue), low calorie (green) or highly palatable (red)
Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS
• Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruit and vegetables count
• Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain
• 30 grams of fibre a day: This is the same as eating all of the following: 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, 2 whole-wheat cereal biscuits, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread and large baked potato with the skin on
• Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks) choosing lower fat and lower sugar options
• Eat some beans, pulses,