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Aversion to Bitter Foods Linked to Higher BMI

Lots of factors conspire to determine how much you weigh—your snack habits, what time you sit down for dinner, and how often you blow off the gym and park your butt on the couch for Netflix marathons. And now, you can add your taste buds to the list: A new study published in the journal Obesity discovered that people with high BMIs tend to have an aversion to bitter foods (think kale, Brussels sprouts, grapefruit, as well as some other fruits and veggies). The study also found that people with low BMIs were less likely to be turned off when they tasted something bitter.

While this study didn’t prove causation—just correlation—the connection makes a certain amount of sense. After all, so many bitter foods (such as leafy greens) are weight-loss champions. That said, disliking bitter foods doesn’t mean you’re destined for weight gain, either. You can always experiment with different ways to prepare bitter foods.

MORE: 10 Delicious Kale Recipes

If you still can’t stand them, you can maintain a healthy weight by making an effort to eat nutrient-dense foods that are filling and low-cal (after all, there are plenty of fruits and veggies that aren’t bitter).

MORE: 7 Ways to Eat More Veggies

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