(BUFFALO, N.Y.) -- Comfort foods may not be good for your waistline or your cholesterol level, but they can definitely warm your heart, according to a new study published in Psychological Science.
Researchers at the University of Buffalo ran multiple experiments to judge or invoke participants' loneliness, and then measured their feelings and thoughts when comfort foods were thrown into the mix. They found that when the participants wrote about the foods, memories of eating with loved ones arose. Participants who were given soup also thought more about relationships.
"What we found is that people have the capacity to create a comfort food for themselves by having it be something that's consistently associated with their close others," said the study's co-author, Jordan Troisi.
Researchers concluded that comfort foods are social surrogates, which is why people turn to them when they're feeling lonely or sad in an attempt to fill the hole in their hearts.
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