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One of people’s favourite topics of conversation, a night dedicated to all things food! Is your sweet tooth genetic? Are your taste buds sensitive enough to notice salt taken out of your food? And how are our modern diets and lifestyles having impacts upon our health? Come and find out all this and more from the experts researching what we eat.
Does Low Salt Taste As Bad As It Sounds?
Charfedinne Ayed (Research Fellow)
The WHO recommends that adults consume no more than 5g of salt per day. The UK provides one of the earliest examples of salt intake reduction strategy. Amongst the products targeted, baked food have been singled out by health groups. Lately, these baked goods have begun to suffer from a poor public image because of their high content of “hidden salt” (>1g per 100g of biscuits). Understanding the interactions between salt, structure and aromas may allow manufacturers to influence the level of sweetness perceived by the consumer and thereby formulate baked food with less added salt.
The Genetics of Your Sweet Tooth
Gabby Kavaliauskaite (PhD student)
Humans are born with a natural preference for sweet taste and some people (including myself!) have a serious sweet tooth. Based on consumer response to sweetness, scientists group them into two categories: Sweet Likers and Sweet Dislikers. The aim of my research is to understand sweet taste preference and perception, and how they vary depending on an individual’s genetic make-up. So if you have ever wondered why you just can’t resist that chocolate treat or cannot imagine your morning coffee without a big helping of sugar, come along – this talk might be about you!
Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes - Is It All In Your Genes?
Ian Macdonald (Professor of Metabolic Physiology)
The link between type 2 diabetes and obesity is clear and levels of both continue to rise throughout the nation placing strain on our NHS. But is our lifestyle and environment the cause, or is it genetic? There is some evidence that the likelihood of being overweight may have a genetic link; but as of yet there has been no link found between our genes and the risk of type 2 diabetes. So is it avoidable and how can small lifestyle changes reduce our risk of type 2 diabetes.