We all love to eat and prefer eating hot food over cold food. No wonder why a majority of us end up microwaving our food more often than usual. Read on know the reason why hot food attracts us more and why we are willing to take extra efforts to heat our food nicely even when we are starving badly.
After a tiring day’s job, we all crave for piping hot food even when we can easily catch a nice smoothie, granola bar or munchies on our way. Times like these we can think of nothing but some really hot food like a large pizza, nice crisp beef roast, lovely stir fried noodles or the favorite pasta dish covered in cheese.
Scientists have discovered many reasons to why we badly crave for warm food on an empty stomach. The primary explanation could be the link between taste and smell of the food. Scientists in the department of biological sciences at the University of Alabama suggested that it is the smell that draws us towards hot food as compared to the raw or cold food variations.
Hot food produces more airborne molecules as compared to cold food, and because smell plays a major role in taste sensation, hot food attracts us more.
This is exactly the reason why the smell of barbeque seems more tempting and incites hunger. And, this is also exactly why cold soups are not as tempting as the warm soup preparations. There is also a difference in the satiety value of the hot and cold soup preparations.
However, the smell is not the only reason that makes us crave a hot meal. Eating food also releases calories and nutrients that otherwise we will not be able to get from the raw food. This makes our calories starved brain steer towards consuming a hot meal that may provide potentially more calories in that moment of hunger.
Richard Wrangham (biological anthropologist at Howard University), specifies that hot food is likely to yield more net energy than cold food. Just like starch in hot bread turns refractory when the same bread cools and the fats in lipid rich food are easier to digest when it is closest to its melting point.
The scientist at the University of Alabama specifies that we crave for a warm meal because it is easier to digest and metabolize calories from it but he does not agree that hot food necessarily provides more nutrition than the cold food. So, craving for the hot food could be most likely driven by a happy memory of the smell and taste of the hot food consumed such as a crisp steak eaten right off the grill in a family barbeque party or the hot pizza family used to order on the movie nights!