Men who eat salad smell better and are more attractive to women, says science, whereas men who go heavy on carbs smell pretty bad.
The findings, published in Evolution and Human Behavior, came out of research into whether sweat can give information on health status and genetics. This study was itself inspired by research into whether carotenoids—red-and-orange tinted food pigments—make our skin tones more attractive.
To ascertain how fruit and vegetables affect our body odor, men provided information on their diet to researchers, and then their odor was tested in two ways. The first, objective, method used skin spectrophotometry to measure dietary carotenoid intakes. The second used the noses of human females to do the measuring. These poor female participants sniffed sweat samples from the participating men and provided their own evaluation.
The results showed that eating vegetables and fruits produces, overall, more pleasant smelling sweat. Next in line were fat, meat, eggs, and tofu, a diet of which also produced pleasant odors in sweat. Men who feasted primarily on carbs, though, had “stronger smelling less pleasant sweat,” says the report.
Higher levels of carotenoids in sweat, produced by eating more fruits and vegetables, was described as “floral, fruity, sweet or having medicinal qualities.”
But this pleasant smell isn’t just a happy by-product. It is a reliable indicator of health, which isn’t a bad thing in a mate. So there you have it, boys. In order to be more attractive, you can’t fake it any more by forcing down a salad whenever you take a new date to a restaurant.