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Learning to love healthy foods

May 8, 2020

Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli—when these vegetables are listed, do your taste buds tingle or do you experience feelings of disgust? It can be really difficult to transition to a healthier lifestyle if your version of healthy food consists of eating French fries because potatoes are a vegetable. If you have an aversion to healthy food, let’s discuss ways you can overcome it and learn to love healthier foods.

The secret to loving healthier food isn’t to cover it in something like cheese or dressing. Broccoli covered in cheese or ranch might be delicious, but it won’t necessarily help your waistline. Research that focuses on taste shows that childhood food habits have a larger influence on your taste buds as an adult than you would expect. It also shows that the things we eat determine what we like. For instance, a breastfeeding infant who is exposed to carrot juice because his mother drinks it will enjoy carrot-flavored foods as compared to infants that have never been exposed to it. This is why it’s so important to expose kids to a wide array of foods. Some studies also reveal that genetics may play a small role in what we enjoy eating. If you find yourself hating most healthy foods, or at the very least, feeling nervous about them because you’ve never tried them, the key is to utilize your senses to retrain how you think and feel about the food.

Think about the Brussels sprouts mentioned earlier. They can smell pretty awful when you cook them, and that can be a huge deterrent. You have to fool your nose. Roast or steam cruciferous vegetables; it will remove most of the sulfurous compounds that are responsible for the awful smell. Take it one step further by eating the veggies in a room separate from the one you cooked them in. Similarly, you will need to retrain your taste buds. Do you have a sweet tooth? Gradually cutting artificial sweeteners out—which are much sweeter than natural sugar and make you crave more sweets—will help you lose your taste for sweets. If salt is your go-to, cut down the salt and add a splash of vinegar to food instead. It triggers your taste buds in the same way, but without all that extra sodium.

Does the expression you eat with your eyes sound familiar to you? It’s repeated because it’s true. Are you more likely to enjoy a bowl of plain lettuce, or one with colorful veggies—like carrots and cherry tomatoes—and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar? Adding a slew of colorful foods to your plate will make the food on the plate much more appetizing. Even a colorful plate can make a difference. In fact, a study in the Journal of Consumer Research revealed that eating on a red plate versus a white one encouraged individuals to eat 22 percent more. Getting a variety of colors on your plate also helps to ensure that you eat foods from all the food groups you need. Continuous exposure will help you begin to like healthy foods—try a couple months. Try preparing the foods different ways and utilizing different spices to (quite literally) spice it up.

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Important Lap-Band® System Safety Information

The ReShape Lap-Band Systems are approved for adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or a BMI of at least 30 with health conditions related to obesity, who have not seen success with other weight loss methods, like supervised diet, exercise, and behavior modification programs. Choosing this surgery means committing to changes in eating habits for the long term.

The Lap-Band procedure is not approved for individuals under 18 yo, those with conditions that may make them poor surgical candidates or lead to poor results, such as inflammatory or cardiopulmonary diseases, problems with the stomach and digestion, symptoms or family history of autoimmune disease, scarring of the liver, individuals unable or unwilling to follow the necessary dietary restrictions, individuals with alcohol or drug addictions, or those currently pregnant. Individuals who become pregnant after band placement may require deflation of their bands.

The ReShape Lap-Band Systems, a long-term tool, may need to be adjusted if you get pregnant, sick, or malnourished. Be careful with anti-inflammatory drugs as they could make the band wear away. Like any surgery, placement of the Lap-Band may have complications such as risks from drugs and methods used, general surgery risks, how well your body handles a foreign object, or in rare cases, risk of death.

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with metabolic and bariatric surgery that you and your doctor should discuss. Potential risks associated with the Lap-Band include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach blockage, constipation, swallowing difficulty, diarrhea, abnormal stools, abdominal pain, weakness, incision pain, infection, fever, hernia, chest pain, band movement, stomach pouch expansion, unusual healing, pain at the port site, port movement, and/or hair loss. Additional surgery might be needed. Losing weight quickly could lead to complications requiring more surgery. 

Talk to your doctor, and/or visit our website at for more information on its benefits and risks.