I found this image and thought that is would be perfect for this next Mind Trip. The artist – Jelly-O – is making an interesting point that I think most of us would agree on…well at least publicly. But we all know that when we are craving sweets, it does not really matter if the cupcake or donut is stale, if it is the only thing available, we will eat it; it satisfies our need for sweets.

There is an interesting article that came out in Discover Magazine about why we crave sugary foods even though the flavor may not be great or even good…or even there. It has to do with our brains. “Our brains learn which foods are calorie-rich and drives us to seek them out”. A study done at Yale University published in the May issue of Current Biology had people drink beverages that had either 0 calories or 112.5 calories of maltodextrin. Both of the drinks tasted the same, as the maltodextrin has no flavor and can’t be detected by taste.

As researchers watched the brains of the subjects, they found  two things: 1) blood sugar increased when the subjects drank the higher calorie drink and 2) that the drink with the added maltodextrin “triggered more activity in the brain’s reward center and were rated more likeable”(Breanna Draxler, Discover Magazine). By the end of the study, even though the participants could not taste the added sweetness, they came to like it more.

Very trippy to be able to play with our brains like this!