There’s an emotional reason why you love macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, and your favorite comfort food. The dishes may actually have a profound impact on our mental state. New research has found that certain foods resonate with us emotionally due to their connection to our childhood and the people who served the food to us (most likely mother or father). Therefore, eating these foods don’t just tickle your taste buds — they remind you of a comforting time in your youth, filling you with warm, fuzzy feelings of nostalgia. If we have a positive association with the person who fed us the food as a child, we’ll turn to the food in times of isolation or rejection. So that’s why we love macaroni and cheese. The question now is how to say no when it’s on the table.

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