October, 2020MSI Funded Study: The addition of spices and herbs to vegetables in the National School Lunch Program increased vegetable intake at an urban, economically-underserved, and predominantly African-American high school
MSI Funded Study:The addition of herbs and spices and improved liking of reduced fat and reduced saturated fat foods
Polsky, S., Beck, J., Stark, R. A., Pan, Z., Hill, J. O., & Peters, J. C.
Americans consume more fat than is recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This study shows that you can take foods like French toast, chicken, or a vegetable side and cut the fat and calories by up to 50% while restoring flavor with herbs and spices.
Adult subjects were randomized to taste 3 different conditions: full fat (FF), reduced fat with no added spice (RF), and reduced fat plus spice (RFS). Subjects rated their liking of French toast, sausage and the overall meal, or chicken, vegetables, pasta, and the overall meal on a 9-point hedonic Likert scale.
Overall liking of the RF breakfast and lunch meals were lower than the FF and RFS versions (breakfast: 6.50 RF compared with 6.84 FF, P = 0.0061; 6.50 RF compared with 6.82 RFS, P = 0.0030; lunch: 6.35 RF compared with 6.94 FF, P < 0.0001; 6.35 RF compared with 6.71 RFS, P = 0.0061). RFS and FF breakfast and lunch meals, French toast, chicken, and vegetable likings were similar. FF and RFS conditions were liked more than RF for the breakfast and lunch meals, French toast, chicken entree, and vegetables. Liking of all 3 sausage conditions was similar. FF pasta was liked more than RFS and RF (7.47 FF compared with 6.42 RFS, P < 0.0001; 7.47 FF compared with 6.47 RF, P < 0.0001). Habitual consumption of roasted chicken was associated with reduced liking of FF chicken (r = −0.23, P = 0.004) and FF pasta (r = −0.23, P = 0.005).
This study shows that herbs and spices may be useful for improving the liking of lower fat foods and helping Americans maintain a diet consistent with the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.