Food is for fuel and structure. It does not exist to grant immediate gratification. Food does not exist to taste good. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Your taste preferences exist to encourage you to eat foods that provide the best fuel and structure. Your taste buds and flavor preferences evolved to help you eat healthy food. Food scientists and flavor engineers in labs at major corporations have hijacked this natural drive and made you unhealthy.
You have a preference for fat, salty, and sweet because we’re designed for an environment in which foods with those tastes are the healthiest.
Flaming Hot Cheetos exist to exploit this, for the purpose of financial gain. The best way to profit in the food industry is to make foods that taste amazing – are addictive, even – out of the cheapest possible ingredients.
This is not a recipe for health.
Instead, healthfulness requires seeking out the best-tasting natural foods. This will require a short adaptation period, because Coca-Cola and Lays have damaged your palatability response. Don’t despair – you can fix it, and quickly.
When you start eating healthy, your food may taste bland, or even bitter. Within a week or two (provided you don’t cheat), your brain will un-adapt back to its natural state, and you’ll find healthy food just as tasty as you now find Twinkies to be.
Over time, you’ll get so good at listening to your natural urges for taste that you’ll be able to notice micronutrient deficiencies. An example of this is a species of mountain goat that occasionally treks mountainous miles just to lick rocks, driven by nothing more than a craving for salt.