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Sweet Tooth

//Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth

Biting the Sweet Tooth

Why is the sweet tooth a phenomenon so prevalent amongst us? The desire to eat something sweet after a “complete” meal to clean off the palate is a common occurrence that may contribute to weight gain if we opt for more calorically dense foods such as high-fat cakes or cookies.

Experts say that “the craving for sweets is primarily biological”, according to Dr. Louis J. Aronne, the director of the Comprehensive Weight Control program at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. “However, the sweet that is preferred seems to be primarily a learned behavior, a function of one’s upbringing”.

Also, there seem to be gender differences between food preferences, since women tend to prefer sweet foods while men prefer salty foods. The composition of the last meal even matters, as researchers found that a high-protein meal often resulted in higher sugar cravings. Women in Western countries tend to give into their chocolate cravings as a result of their sweet tooth, but similarly women in other cultures where chocolate is not readily available prefer other types of sweets.

The bottom line is: being cognizant of the “sweet tooth” phenomenon may be the first step to selecting healthier choices to satisfy the sweet craving, such as a serving of fruit, smaller portions of desserts or opting for some home-made, gluten-free or low-fat choices.