We Think Harder Foods Are Healthier Than Softer Foods

We Think Harder Foods Are Healthier Than Softer Foods
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Sure apples are healthy. But research shows our perception of the healthy apple may have little to do with the fruit's nutritional value, and more to do with that satisfying crunch.

There’s the crunch of the apple, the crisp of the raw kale leaf, and the snap of opening an edamame pod. With all of these raw diets and the outpouring of popularity for fruits and veggies, it’s no wonder we think that crunchier foods are better for us.  Now science has backed up this claim. A recent study from the Journal of Consumer Research shows that people think that foods with a rougher or harder texture have fewer calories than foods with a softer texture.

“We studied the link between how a food feels in  your mouth and the amount we eat, the types of  food we choose, and how many calories we think we are consuming,” wrote authors Dipayan Biswas, Courtney Szocs (both University of  South Florida), Aradhna Krishna (University of Michigan), and Donald R. Lehmann (Columbia  University).

During one segment of the study, half of the participants were given hard brownie bites, and half were given soft brownie bites. First, researchers asked the participants to consume the brownies as normal. More of the soft brownies were eaten. But when asked to take calorie count into consideration, more of the hard brownies were consumed, illustrating the mind’s connection between food texture and calorie count.

Remember that this method doesn’t always work. Contrary to popular belief, soft cheese like blue and Brie are actually healthier than harder rind cheeses like pecorino.

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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi