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Overcoming Food Biases

Preconceived ideas can cause people to turn up their noses before they even taste a particular food. Our taste buds evolve over time, and some foods just get a bad reputation.

Perhaps when you were a child, some cranky babysitter made you eat mushy broccoli, and ever since that day, it has not crossed your lips.

If you want to give broccoli (or any other food) another chance, consider the impact of the visual presentation. To prevent your food biases from kicking in, make sure the food is shredded, pureed, diced, or otherwise masked.

"Broccoli-haters are going to turn up their noses before the first bite hits their mouth if they see it on their plates," says Tribole. "Improve your odds of acceptance by changing the appearance and texture of the broccoli by shredding it to make a slaw."

One Change at a Time

Making changes in your daily routine can be daunting. But you don't have to eat all superfoods, all the time. Start small and make tiny dietary tweaks, one at a time, until they become healthy habits, advises nutrition expert and author David Katz, MD.

"Pick three things you can do each day, do it consistently, and it will become a habit," says Katz, co-author of the book Stealth Health: How to Sneak Age-Defying, Disease-Fighting Habits into Your Life without Really Trying. "It is the routines and habits that integrate good health into your life style that will result in health and wellness."

Something as simple as choosing a whole grain over a refined grain is a step in the right direction.

"Start with one change that comes relatively easy, and let the positive effects encourage you to make another small change and another, and another," says Katz.

If you don't like a particular food at first, keep trying. It can take some time before new foods get added to your favorite list.

"Research on children has shown that it can take as many as eight or nine times before an eating preference is established," says Tribole.

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