Why Do We Love Comfort Food So Much?

Intuitive eating
chili dans un chaudron rouge

The arrival of autumn makes me crave my ultimate comfort food dish: a delicious minestrone soup, in my pyjamas, wrapped in a cozy blanket. How about you? Do you have a favorite comfort food dish?

What is it?

Comfort food is often described as food choices that satisfy emotions such as sadness, anger, or pleasure. Some people associate it with foods that are rich in fat, sugar, and salt. In short, the definition of comfort food varies greatly from person to person.

The Pleasure

Foods that have a high level of palatability (pleasant texture and taste) are often rich in fat, sugar, and salt. These types of foods directly activate certain regions of the brain associated with reward and pleasure. That's why a bowl of ice cream tastes so good!

Filling the Void

When we miss someone with whom we used to share a particular meal, that meal can provide comfort. Think back to your first year away from the family home. Do you remember preparing a comforting meal that reminded you of family meals?


This nostalgic feeling is associated with happy memories. For me, the aroma of minestrone soup takes me straight back to my grandmother's kitchen. These foods are associated with memories that evoke positivity, giving them the power to make us happy.

Our Differences

It is precisely because of these different variations that we all have different types of comfort food. It can vary based on our emotions, our longing, and our nostalgia! In short, while the source may vary, the purpose remains the same: comfort and happiness!

But beware, comfort food falls under the category of "comforting" foods and not emotional eating. If the need for constant comfort leads to excessive food consumption, it is advisable to consult a registered dietitian !

So, what is YOUR comfort food?

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist