Your Favorite Flavor May Reveal Your Personality

"You are what you eat." We've all heard it, but have probably assumed it's been meant in more of a biological sense. After all, if you eat nothing but kale and quinoa, you're probably very healthy. If, on the other hand, you live off super-sized sandwiches, blazing-hot wings, and monster-sized milkshakes, there's a good chance you may be Adam Richman.

Well, as it turns out, science now tells us that our food preferences may also determine our personality (or vice versa). As Psychology Today says, a number of studies have found a correlation between taste and personality traits, both positive and negative. They do, however, point out that preference is different from practice. 

Perhaps, for example, your natural inclination would be to douse your food with salt, but you've been warned against consuming too much sodium so you resist the urge. It's also possible that you may not start out as a fan of super spicy foods, but you just might decide that being able to down copious amounts of ghost peppers is a challenge you want to take on and will train yourself into developing a taste for them. 

Your actual inborn food preferences, though, may be revealing your true nature.

Sweet vs. salty foods

Psychology Spot summarizes a few studies conducted by researchers at various universities that point to certain personality traits linked to a preference for certain foods. For starters, a sweet tooth may really indicate that you've got a sweet nature to go along with it while cravings for salty items shows ambition.

A research team at Gettysburg College that found sugar-loving people tend to be kinder and more lovable, while a study at North Dakota State University likewise found that dessert fans are friendly, compassionate, and empathetic — and are apt to be both selfless and willing to share (maybe everything but the last cookie on the plate, that is).

If you prefer to snack on chips, though, findings at Pennsylvania State University say this may indicate that you are someone with a lot of inner strength, as well as big dreams and ambitions that you're willing to work hard to achieve. In fact, research even indicates that 25% of elite athletes exhibit a strong preference for salty foods. And here we thought they just did so to make up for all the sodium they were losing when they sweat.

Spicy vs. sour foods

It's the eternal (hot) chicken or (deviled) egg question: Do thrill seekers naturally gravitate towards foods that are guaranteed to blow off the tops of their heads, or do people who are born loving spicy foods grow to feel an affinity for other types of risk-taking behaviors as well? Although they were unable to answer that question, University of Pennsylvania researchers (via Psychology Spot) did find that those who like things spicy did tend to be adventurous, and always in search of new experiences and sensations in order to get that daily dose of adrenaline.

Lemon lovers, on the other hand, tend to be more reflective. While those who prefer sour tastes can be thoughtful and rational, they can also have a tendency to ruminate and may be over-anxious, says research from Wageningen University. If this group of puckered people can curb their tendencies to overthink things, though, they can be very open to new experiences and also exhibit a creative side.

The bad news if you like bitter foods

If you like your coffee black and your favorite fruit is grapefruit, you might want to look inward. Some researchers have found that craving bitter flavors like these may be reflective of a less-than-fuzzy personality. A study performed at the University of Innsbruck (via Psychology Spot) says this particular food preference may indicate some antisocial traits. Researchers examined more than 1,000 test subjects, and found a correlation between a preference for bitter flavors and people displaying manipulative, Machiavellian, narcissistic, and even psychopathic behaviors.

Psychology Today also reports on a pair of studies that seem to echo these findings, linking fondness for bitter flavors to "toxic" traits like sadism and, again, psychopathy. The outlet points out, however, that there's a difference between observing a higher incidence of certain behaviors in a group and interpreting membership in that group (the "bitter is better brigade," we'll call them) as a predictor of those behaviors. After all, there's a good chance your IPA-drinking date is just ordering the stuff because they think it's "cool," in which case you're not going out with a serial killer, just a craft beer snob

If you are a member of the Triple-B club, though, it's nothing personal, it's just science! And you know what they say about scientific findings: If you don't like the results, just wait five minutes until the next study comes along.