An understanding of the effect of structural features of foods in terms of specific sensory attributes is necessary to design foods with specific functionalities, such as reduced fat or increased protein content, and increased feeling of satiety or liking. Although the bulk rheological properties of both liquid and solid foods can be related to textural attributes such as thickness and firmness, they do not always correlate to more complex sensory attributes, such as creamy and smooth. These attributes are often a result of different contributions, including lubrication aspects and interactions between food and components present in the oral cavity. In this review, the different contributions for a variety of composite foods, such as dispersions, emulsions and emulsion-filled gels, are discussed. The rheological properties are discussed in relation to specific structural characteristics of the foods, which are then linked to lubrication aspects and sensory perception.