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Eating by Texture

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 8 Nov 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Eating Texture Food Taste Disordered

Eating by texture can be a type of disordered eating. Individuals who engage in eating by texture make their food choices based on how food feels in their mouths rather than by its nutritional value or even by its taste. However, eating by texture may also indicate other conditions so those who notice loved ones rejecting or accepting food based on texture should investigate why this is so.

Eating By Texture and Disordered Eating

Eating by texture is a common type of disordered eating. When it is not indicative of another condition, eating by texture means that an individual has decided to sort his or her food choices by the way that foods feels rather than by how it tastes or if it is required for a balanced diet. For example, some disordered eaters may choose only foods that require chewing with the thought that this action may burn extra calories.

Other disordered eaters may choose only foods that “squish” in their mouths because they prefer that feeling to foods that “crunch.” While there is nothing inherently wrong with enjoying some textures over others, if this preference leads to eliminating foods required for healthy eating then it will adversely impact the body and overall health.

Eating By Texture and Other Conditions

Eating by texture, while a common type of disordered eating, may also indicate another condition. For example, some individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) report a hypersensitivity to the texture of food that makes certain foods intolerable to them.

Sensory Integration Disorder can also leave individuals unable to tolerate certain textures of food. Individuals with Rett Syndrome may also have a low texture tolerance as related to their food. Because there are obviously reasons other than simple disordered eating that may be related to eating by texture, further investigations should be carried out when eating by texture is noticed.

Overcoming Eating By Texture

It may seem that eating by texture can be overcome by simply learning to appreciate different food textures, but this is not so easy when a food texture can make an individual choke, gag or even vomit. Some individuals may be able to consciously begin to add more foods and textures into their diet but others may need professional help to explore why they react so violently to certain foods. Still others may find that changing the texture of a food, such as by making smoothies out of crunchy fruits and vegetables, can help them add nutrients to their diet without having to eat a texture that they do not enjoy.

However, forcing someone to eat foods with textures that are despised is not a good idea as it will likely lead to that individual avoiding the food even more. Rather, those who eat by texture must be the ones to decide that they want more food choices in their diet and to design, or seek help to design, ways to make this possible.

Eating by texture is a common form of disordered eating but it can also indicate other conditions. Individuals who eat by texture may benefit from professional help in finding out why they eat this way and how they can overcome it.

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I’m 29, 5’5, and only 105lbs. I have struggled with eating texture my whole life. Mushy foods are very hard for me. I gag trying to eat a banana for example. I don’t enjoy how mushy it is. I love crunchy things though.I don’t like seeds either. So I can’t eat a lot of fruit because the seeds in my mouth will make me want to throw up. What is causing this??? There’s got to be something that we are all dealing with somehow! How is it doctors can’t help... i wonder if this is a new phenomenon
Jennifer - 8-Nov-19 @ 10:04 AM
I don't want any kind of food in my mouth. Ice cream boost Gatorade yes. I try to put food in my mouth and it just seems to get bigger and I have to get rid of it. Losing weight like crazy. This only started about a year ago.
Oreos mom - 5-Nov-19 @ 1:17 AM
I can't eat tomatoes. I can eat tomato sauce, tomato paste, all that but I can't eat tomato pieces, the feeling in my mouth when i bite into diced tomato, tomato chunks, stewed tomato, it all makes me feel sick to my stomach. My mother is absolutely heinous about this. I'm pretty sure I'm an adult with autism, I know I have ADHD. What can I do to eat the tomatoes so my mother is happy with me?
El - 23-Oct-19 @ 3:23 AM
I've never been able to eat onions or peppers and anything mushy comes right back up I can eat raw tomatoes but not cooked or canned tomatoes my mashed potatoes have to be drowning in gravy or it comes back up stuff like oatmeal or applesauce can only take like 2 bites at a time my noodles cant be mushy and rise has to be fried I've always been like this my mom never understood it when I was little every night I'd have to sit there till bedtime cause I wouldn't eat half my supper glad to know I'm not the only one with these issues
Sarah - 19-Sep-19 @ 9:05 AM
I can't eat crunchy vegetables, it literally makes me gag. It used to be so bad when i was a kid i couldn't eat any kind of fruit or vegetable or i would throw up everytime my parents would try to make me. Its getting better but i cabt even eat a proper salad when i want to because it will literally make me sick and lose my appetite.
Kat - 24-Jul-19 @ 4:57 AM
I have had texture issues with foods since I can remember. I don't eat Fruits. They are mushy. I can't eat mushrooms or anything spongy. I have no problems with meat if it's cooked long enough. I do not eat dark meat chicken because it has those veins. So gross. If meat has any redness or bloody look, I can't eat it.I can eat noodles but they have to be a little under cooked. It has to have a crunch. I can eat apples if they are picked early and have a good crunch. If they are a hair bit Milly, I gag. I can eat jello and pudding. Can't do oatmeal. I can eat grits. I can eat tomato sauce. I don't eat eggs unless they are scrabbled and they have to be scrambled hard.I don't remember ever choking on anything as a child. I don't not eat seafood. I don't like the Smell, taste or texture. I have tried to like shrimp. I've tried it all different ways. It's too rubbery. I can eat cakes and desserts as long as they are spongy or dry.Any ideas.I can eat strawberries shortcake if I puree the strawberries. Thoughts on overcoming this? I've been this way for 34years.
Kelly - 19-Jul-19 @ 9:21 PM
I have had texture issues with foods since I can remember. I don't eat Fruits. They are mushy. I can't eat mushrooms or anything spongy. I have no problems with meat if it's cooked long enough. I do not eat dark meat chicken because it has those veins. So gross. If meat has any redness or bloody look, I can't eat it.I can eat noodles but they have to be a little under cooked. It has to have a crunch. I can eat apples if they are picked early and have a good crunch. If they are a hair bit Milly, I gag. I can eat jello and pudding. Can't do oatmeal. I can eat grits. I can eat tomato sauce. I don't eat eggs unless they are scrabbled and they have to be scrambled hard.I don't remember ever choking on anything as a child. I don't not eat seafood. I don't like the Smell, taste or texture. I have tried to like shrimp. I've tried it all different ways. It's too rubbery. I can eat cakes and desserts as long as they are spongy or dry.Any ideas.I can eat strawberries shortcake if I puree the strawberries. Thoughts on overcoming this? I've been this way for 34years.
Kelly - 19-Jul-19 @ 9:19 PM
I can't eat meat or veggies cornor peas uncooked is fineno pasta . When I try to eat a hamburgerafter a few bites I don't wantit in my mouth anymore I either have to try and swollow or spit it out. I realyyy want to eat it but my mouth dont want it. Same with potato's. My family wonders how I'm still alive.
Roadunner - 17-Jul-19 @ 5:51 PM
This is new to me because I have never had a problem with textures until now at the she of 42.Would menopause have anything to do with it? I can start eating and then I start thinking about it and I have to quit eating.
Tamya - 29-Apr-19 @ 10:41 AM
It's good to see I'm not alone in this.I can only do soft foods. No meats, breads, grains or vegetables.Only the broth off soups, baked potatoes or creamy mashed potatoes.I literally vomit when I try anything else. I have seen many nutritional therapists with no help.I'm literally starving to death.I'm 38, 5ft 6in and weigh 95 pounds. I'm scared. I NEED HELP! ANY ADVICE WOULD BE APPRECIATED BY ANYONE.....
asmj1006 - 25-Apr-19 @ 6:40 PM
Help. I’m such a texture person. I don’t like any fruits or vegetables because of it. And i need a better diet. What’s some tips? I’ve tried everything. (Eating in small amounts, holding my nose, etc.)
Kk - 21-Mar-19 @ 12:39 AM
For as long as I can remember I've had a texture problem with food. I cant eat stewed tomatoes or raw tomatoes but I can eat tomatoe sauces without tomato chunks. I love the flavor of onions and peppers in my food but cant stand biting into them. Fruits...forget it you bite into it them its squished. Use to love bananas until my last pregnancy but cant even stand the smell now. I have tried for years to eat lettuce even in salads minutes later I throw up. I love fried okra unless its slimy same with squash. I can take eating baked brussel sprouts that my son fixes. I even cant handle the texture of smoothies. I've got to figure this out because I'm now going to have to fight a disease and need a better diet.
E - 12-Mar-19 @ 5:01 AM
I hate slimy foods like over cooked tomatoes and onions or foods like rice when the rice has hard bits into them it makes me gag also over cooked tomatoes is gross for me if I eat the tomatoes in spaghetti they have to be well blended and I hate weird home made foods that have no flavor or are just nasty cooked
Lola - 17-Jan-19 @ 6:58 AM
I will be 37 in July... Since the age of 3 I've never eaten veggies or meat. It's affected my life and health in a massive way. My problem is trying to swallow... I can chew but when it comes to swallowing it refuses to go down so I stayed with the food I've known and felt comfortable with. Only now am I making a change and slowly introducing raw veggies etc
Landi - 12-Jan-19 @ 6:47 AM
I have a horrible problem and I have no idea how to make it better I have texture issues with fruit and veggies it the smell and texture it'll make me puke or gag I've tried smoothies and other ways to change it but it still gets to me especially if it still smells bad. I've tried food therapy it didn't work I'm worried I need to eat veg and fruit but can't and it's affecting my health I'm obese and seeked professional help it didn't work I need advice.
Gwen - 24-Oct-18 @ 2:55 AM
I've read this and can't relate more. I would love to be a healthy eater but many food make me gag as soon as I try eat them. For example I love the flavour onions and to food I cook but when it comes to eating them in a slasa or anything I physically can't and I throw up. But the worst part is lettuce and vegetables I love the favour of salads and veggies together but the thought of putting all the veg into my mouth and trying to bite and chew makes me nauseous and I hate it. Does anyone have any tips on how to overcome the mental block of food textures
Brinajenning - 19-Sep-18 @ 3:06 AM
It's a relief I'm not alone with this. I can't eat foods, that are soft and have something cruchy inside them, like onion. But soft foods in general I do like, mashed potatoes, cottage cheese etc etc. Certain crunchy I can also eat, but not as much as soft foods. I am currently 20 but I've developed my eating habits better throughout the years. I still have trouble eating any salads for example. Though I love cucumber, corn and carrots at least. Also I can't eat foods that are like really chewy and rubbery.
Sally - 4-Sep-18 @ 10:22 PM
@Danielle - yes all these things too. Soup, hummus even dips I can't eat.
Bevv - 10-Aug-18 @ 3:42 PM
I’m this way! I can’t do slimy - yogurt is the worst. I really want to eat healthier but yogurt, beans, fish all make me gag (at times vomit). I can’t even do smoothies ??
Danielle - 3-Aug-18 @ 11:18 PM
@Shay - I can understand this. Maybe it has come from some incident when you were a kid. My incident came from meat that had gristle. I can't eat minced beef for fear of chewing on a piece of gristle again, but this overlaps into burgers, hotdogs or chicken nuggets, even though you don't get gristle much anymore these days the thought of ever coming across it makes me feel physically sick.
PrinnyM - 31-May-18 @ 3:21 PM
Long story short, if it's slimy, I'm not eating it! Example: Over cooked vegetables, mushrooms, onions, clams, wet chicken, brussels sprouts, asparagus and so on. These items (for the most part) raw or cooked al dente, I love. So, I have an eating disorder? My guy gets ticked that I won't eat a sandwich that has been sitting for 30 minutes. The bread is saturated by the tomato, mayo and mustard. Gross! I will eat lettuce on a hamburger if I eat it immediately after it's put together; wait and it becomes limp letuce...not happening. Please advise.....
Shay - 29-May-18 @ 12:05 AM
@Abbygail - I'm the same with sloppy textures, but I can eat crunchy. rice pudding would have to be my ultimate worst food to eat. You'll have to define what it is that you don't like about the foods you hate. How can you hate potato but like french fries and why can you eat chicken nuggets and corn and not other foods? I'm sure people will understand that you hate certain foods, but you are preventing yourself from enjoying others. I always had an aversion to olives too and a friend dared me to eat one and now I love them. I would have so missed out if I hadn't have done the bet.
Han - 24-May-18 @ 3:42 PM
I have some serious issues with food textures. I can't eat any type of fish/sea food. Lettuce, cabbage, sprouts. Strawberries, kiwi, peaches, okra, and some green beans. All forms of potato besides French fries. I literally cannot keep it down if I try to force myself to eat it. Went on a date with a guy and almost threw up strawberries and crème on him when he fed me a bite and I didn't want to sound crazy and deny it. I quickly shoveled some of my elote into my mouth to try to cover it. It is just reaching a point where it is a little embarrassing. I am 22 years old and feeling like I'm still eating like a small child who thrives on chicken nuggets lol. When people invite me to dinners I always stress over whether or not I'll be able to eat what they cook. Has anyone found ways to improve this that have worked for them?
Abbygail - 22-May-18 @ 10:23 PM
@Karizma - doctors generally are concerend if someone is too thin. Many anorexics are able to disguise their weight if they try hard enough (wearing baggy clothes etc). They are also good at lying. It's more difficult for an overweight person to hide their weight and lie :(
KelK - 23-Apr-18 @ 12:09 PM
When I was a teen I decided I wanted to get into modeling and I did. I was a healthy weight, about a size 8-9.I became a size 4 at almost 5'10". I ate about every 3 days and would fill up quickly. I think my stomach was about the size of a walnut...lol. It got to the point that the feel of any food in my mouth any texture made me feel ill. I became a very selective eater and began having migraines. I even saw a neurologist for a couple of years being prescribed all sorts of pills. No one ever said maybe the migraines are caused from a lack of nutrition and dehydration, because thin was and is in, even too thin. The migraines andthinness continued on through my 40's. Now in my 50's after a heart issue I'm told I'm overweight and according to test results considered malnutritioned. Can't win...lol I think part of current health issue was caused by my past eating disorder. I almost starved myself to death with doctor and family approval. Docs should focus on way thin as well as overweight.
Karizma - 23-Apr-18 @ 5:43 AM
@ Paul - can you drink smoothies and fruit juice? Vitamin tablets are an option to consider also, but they don't replace the fibre. There are other foods that can give you the same vitamins and fibre needed for a healthy diet, so you could get by taking this route. The main thing is to avoid junk foods - as they are where many problems lie.
TamsO - 12-Apr-18 @ 2:02 PM
Ever since I can remember I have had real issues with the texture of fruit and veg to the point where I’m gagging and almost to the point where im throwing up. Countless times I have tried to eat many different fruits and vegetables but have been unsuccessful in intergrating them into my diet and as a result I have found it difficult eat healthily and as I’m getting older the effects of my diet are taking more of a tole. Even though I’m only 27 I know my diet is the source of my fatigue, tiredness and my very low fitness level as I lack motivation to excersise and even get out of bed in the morning. But any advice on how to overcome this issue or where to seek the help I need would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Paul - 10-Apr-18 @ 10:18 PM
I feel like I have found my long, lost family!I keep reading about AFRID, bit it speaks about underweight people - and this most definitely is NOT me.My texture problems seem to have always been around; however, in 2002 I had a roux en y gastric stomache stapling.If anyone here has had this surgery you know it is very invasive and only worked on about 10%.The docs placed (in theory) a non expandable band around the opening of my tummy to restrict intake - this meant chewing ... lots and lots of chewing.Lots and lots of texture discovery. I am about to see a hypnotherapist because my situation jis getting dire.
Imbubblezz - 5-Apr-18 @ 4:56 PM
@AngelDv - I have the same problem. I have listed all the foods I do like and then searched online to see if they can be cooked in a way I like. I don't mind fruits in desserts and puddings, or with ice cream, that way I'm still getting the benefit :)
LisaLO - 28-Jul-17 @ 3:14 PM
As long as I can remember I have always had trouble eating certain foods. I don't like the texture of most fruits, and the texture of cooked veg.I am 43, I have always been a picky eater. I want to eat healthy and lose weight , but I don't like a lot of the foods that are healthy for me. I don't like the soft cooked veggie feel on my tongue, or the taste. I am open to suggestions,can anyone help with this problem?
AngelDv - 27-Jul-17 @ 8:52 PM
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