Cilantro is the kind of food you either love or hate, with little room for any opinion in between. Either people want to put it in nearly every food they eat (and drink) or they want to make it illegal to grow or eat the herb. Some people think it’s zesty and tasty, others think it tastes like foul or like soap.
We took an informal survey among Dr. Shillingford’s patients on Facebook, and the results were pretty eye opening: 82% of voters said they love cilantro and 18% said they don’t. These results are in line with a much larger (and way more scientific) study done by genetic researchers. Turns out about 10% of the population is in the anti-cilantro camp.
The results of their study seem to confirm that there is a genetic component to not liking cilantro. The cilantro taste perception in those who dislike cilantro may be due to genetic variants in the olfactory receptors. Specifically, the olfactory receptors on chromosome 11 appear to have a mutation called a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). This difference in a single chromosome may be the reason for the very polarizing opinions on cilantro.
Cilantro does not have much to do specifically with bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery patients. Except that cilantro is a great way to add flavor to a meal without adding many calories. One sprig of cilantro has about 1 calorie. So adding it to chicken or beef can add a lot of flavor without adding calories. If you add cilantro in place of something that would add calories or sugar (say barbeque sauce or a cream sauce), then it’s possible cilantro can contribute to weight loss. And weight loss does have something to do with bariatric surgery patients.
If you are in the ten percent of the population who can’t stand cilantro, don’t despair. It’s usually easy to leave cilantro out of recipes which call for the herb.
Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA often posts news articles, recipes, blogs, and testimonials about gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band surgery for his patients on Facebook. If you would like to see these as part of your news feed, please “like” Dr. Shillingford on Facebook. His gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric band patients often share their experiences, ask questions, and post before and after pictures. Become a part of the experience and inspire others along with you on your weight loss journey!