Savory Amino Acid Flavor

Pretty much anyone can easily pick out foods with distinctly sweet, salty, bitter and sour tastes. How would you describe steak served without BBQ sauce or horseradish? That meaty goodness is known as umami, the flavor sensation associated with protein-rich foods. A study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition pinpointed the T1R1-T1R3 receptor as your umami taste bud, and found that it's particularly sensitive to the amino acid L-glutamate.

The Bigger Picture: You'll find high levels of glutamate in meats and cheeses along with a couple of protein-packed vegetables, namely mushrooms and peas. While it's nice to have a name for the flavor you often find yourself craving, try to keep your choices as lean as possible. And always make a point of restricting portion sizes within reasonable limits, regardless of the taste involved. Physical strength begins with willpower
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