It may have taken thousands of generations of hunting, gathering, farming and cooking to get here. But in the end, the genius of humankind has combined fats and carbohydrates to produce such crowning culinary glories as the doughnut, fettuccine Alfredo, nachos and chocolate cake with butter-cream frosting.
It goes without saying that these delectables do not exist in nature. It turns out combinations of carbohydrates and fats generally do not exist in the landscape in which man evolved.
Neither, new research finds, does the human capacity to intuit the caloric content of such gustatory delights. Instead, the human brain, when confronted with food products that combine fat and carbohydrates, responds with a surge of motivation that outstrips the response elicited by foods that are high in fat only or in carbohydrates only.