Do you see kimchi listed as a side dish on the menu, and think, Yum! Would you be up for ordering beef tongue, rabbit, or polenta? Well, you may weigh less and even be healthier than your not-as-adventurous counterparts, a new study out of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab found.
Researchers surveyed over 500 women about their eating habits, lifestyle choices, and BMIs. They found that those who had tried the most foods (including those mentioned above) also had lower BMIs, exercised more, and were more mindful of the health factor of their food compared to those who didn’t tend to eat outside the box.
So why might being an adventurous eater help you stay slim? Perhaps it’s because trying new foods may open you up to tasty vegetables and lean protein sources you love, so eating well becomes easier. Plus, a diet that’s personalized to your likes and dislikes makes you feel like you’re choosing a healthy lifestyle, not stuck in some sort of confining plan that limits you to just a handful of foods.
Co-author Brian Wansink, PhD, author of Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life confirms in a press release: “These findings are important to dieters because they show that promoting adventurous eating may provide a way for people—especially women—to lose or maintain weight without feeling restricted by a strict diet."
The takeaway? "Instead of sticking with the same boring salad, start by adding something new. It could kickstart a more novel, fun and healthy life of food adventure," Wansink advises. Pass the polenta!