Scientists Tell Us What We Want To Hear: Your Overwhelming Love Of Bacon Might Be Genetic

The crackle, the smell, the promise of bacon — it sends you into a tizzy, an unforgiving droolfest of epic proportions. But mushrooms? Get that out of here, it might as well be poison. Why do we love and hate the foods we do? It could be partly genetic, a group of researchers says in a new series of studies on the topic of nutrigenetics.

Scientists took a look at the genetic basis of food cravings to see which preferences could possibly be part of our genetic code, reports Discover Magazine’s blog.

Specifically, researchers came up with 17 genes they say are related to liking specific foods incuding bacon, coffee, broccoli, mushrooms, dark chocolate and more. Other studies also showed genes that could be linked to salt perception and metabolizing various kinds of food.

Nutrigenetic scientists are focused on understanding what role our genes play in what food we choose to eat, and how our bodies process those foods. The idea being that the better we understand how all those factors come together, the better individuals could possibly tailor their diets to their personal preferences.

Studying more than 4,000 subjects from around the world — with about 2,300 of those participants coming from Italy and the rest from other European countries and Central Asia — researchers asked how much those people liked 42 different foods.

From that they were able to winnow it down to a list of 17 genes that showed significant associations with food preferences. Some foods had more than one gene connected to that preference, like artichokes, which have three genes linked to liking them, and broccoli with two.

But because none of those genes are associated with taste or smell receptors, scientists still aren’t sure exactly why those genes affect our choices the way they do.

So the next time someone tries to tell you your love of bacon can be changed, just let them know it’s an unalterable result of your genetic makeup and that’s that. Nothing can separate you now. Nothing.

Our Tastes For Certain Foods May Be Written in Our Genes [Discover]