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Our genes are so bad at liking broccoli or lentils that we can't even eat them.

It is impossible to choose what we eat all the time.

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Our genes are so bad at liking broccoli or lentils that we can't even eat them.

It is impossible to choose what we eat all the time. When we do, it is often influenced by cultural, psychological, and biological factors. Yes, our genes can influence what we eat.

This is yet another example of how nature and the environment influence our behavior.

According to health professionals, what our children eat is a function of what they have at home. Mothers and fathers are able to choose what to eat.

A study of 2,402 twin families examined the impact of genetics on the desire to eat a variety of foods. Results show that genetics is dominant in choosing vegetables, fruits, and proteins while the environment has a greater influence on what we snack on, such as dairy products and sugars.

This means that whether our children enjoy the healthiest and best-tasting foods, and those we try to include in our diets, is dependent on their genetic makeup. Rather, it's up to us to find out what is healthier and more fattening.

Yes, twins can like or dislike the same food. A second study, which involved more than 2,000 siblings, also found that food preferences based on the same flavors and nutritional characteristics were determined by both the shared environment and genetics. .

What happens to the twins as they get older? The heritable element remains that if the twins don't like lentils they won't eat them. The influence of the collective environment is lost in favor of individual experience. Each person decides what to eat, and how much.

A fascinating study published in the middle of May on 161,625 people was done to determine if genes and food preferences are linked.

The authors first established three major food groups: Highly palatable and energy (desserts and meats, and very tasty, pleasant ones); low-calorie (vegetables and fruits); and those we are trying to enjoy (unsweetened coffees, alcoholic beverages and strong-flavored veggies).

The two were then related. The results showed a moderate to high correlation between store-bought and low-calorie foods, but high-taste or high-energy choices were not affected by either one of these groups. This suggests that the factors that influence the selection of tasty foods may be independent.

The researchers then found 1,401 associations between gene variants and food choice. They found that the rs1229984 SNP mutation in the enzyme that degrades alcohol was associated with the consumption of most alcoholic beverages. However, the effect decreased if the drink was stronger. The mutation permits tolerance to alcohol, but only to a limited extent.

Genes with variants were prioritized to identify genes that code for taste and odor receptors. The OR4K17 gene, which codes for olfactory receptors for tastes and odors, was found to have the strongest association with the taste for onions.

There were relationships between taste receptors that had bitter tastes and those with low-calorie and purchased food groups. Particularly, TAS2R38 variants were associated with salty foods, alcoholic drinks, radishes and grapefruit.

The FGF21 gene codes for a cell modator. It was previously associated with sweets. However, it was found to be negatively related to strong and very fatty foods like fish, eggs, and mayonnaise.

This type of congenital predisposition has been confirmed by other studies. Recent research on 6,230 participants in the American Society for Nutrition presented the findings of a study that found a link between genetic variants, each of the five basic tastes (sweet salty, bitter and sour), and cardiometabolic risk factors.

They have created the polygenic flavor score (PPS) to do this. It is a simple value that takes into account the cumulative effect of multiple gene variants on the perception and perception of a particular flavor. For example, a high PPS for sweet means that the person is predisposed to taste that flavor.

Results showed that genes associated with bitter and umami taste are more closely linked to food quality. Participants with high PPS-bitterness consume two more servings of cereal than participants with lower scores. Participants with higher PPS-umami intake fewer vegetables than people who have less experience with this taste.

This research group found that genes related with sweetness sensitivity are more important for cardiometabolic and metabolic health. A higher concentration of PPS-sweet is associated with a lower level of triglycerides.

Jean Anthelme Brillat Savarin, the author of the first treatise about gastronomy, used the famous aphorism, "tell me how you eat and you will be told who you are" in the 19th century. We can now also say, "tell me how you eat and i will tell you your genes" and vice versa.

This article was published in "The Conversation".

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