In the initial phases of the research the cats preferred the fish flavored meal, but thereafter the cats gravitated to the food with a consistent protein:fat ratio of about 70:30. The foods offered had negligible energy from carbohydrates, thus protein and fat contributed an equal amount, 50%, to total daily energy. This equals the estimated diet of stray cats.
After initially consuming the more flavorful meal, the scientists found that the cats selected the foods with the healthier macronutrient content. The cats were able to do this across the selection of foods differing in flavor and consistency. More research is needed to discern whether carnivores determine prey selection based on macronutrient needs as well.
Wouldn't it be to our human advantage if we could use our natural physiological mechanisms to nutritionally balance our diets and not be so heavily swayed by flavor and other non-nutritional attributes? So the next time you say your cat is a picky eater, remember that it might be saying its nutritional needs are out of balance.