Effects of Fall Food Colors on Appetite

Out to dinner, in the coffee drive through, or in your social feed, when the leaves turn color you get bombarded by the fall foodie favorites. Hearty stews, roasted turkey, pies, eggnog, and pumpkin everything take over your appetite and cravings. It can be a challenge to keep to your healthy eating goals, but we have a little secret to help you make it through the maze of delicious options.

Think about the colors of all of these foods and drinks. Rich earth tones of orange, gold, yellow, brown and red. Much like the colors displayed on trees in the fall.  It turns out these colors have an effect on your appetite. This is nothing new to food manufacturers and restaurants who are using it to convince you you really do need that extra piece of pumpkin bread. Several studies have shown that certain colors trigger the brain to signal hunger. This effect becomes amplified if the contrast is greater, such as a dark chocolate cake with white frosting and red raspberries on top served on a light colored plate. (Did anyone else’s stomach just growl?!) Next time you are at the grocery store or driving home pay attention to the colors used on packaging and for displays, then use it to your advantage in your own kitchen!

Try making salads and cooked vegetables with contrasting rich colors. Picture a plate of broccoli, then picture a plate of broccoli with julienned carrots and thin slices of red bell pepper. (Mouth watering, right?!)

So in the sea of orange food coloring dyed items, make sure you’re feeding your body with what it needs, not just what your taste buds think they need.

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