Why do we enjoy eating sweets and how our body cells react to the sweet flavor!
What pops onto your mind first when you feel a nervous “pinching” inside your stomach? Do you think about any breathing techniques that’s worth spending an hour on or does your brain draw an image of a moist, fragranced fruitcake that seems like a solution to your problems, at least for the time being?
We think about food every single day. Food is on our mind even today, when we don’t have to hunt or gather it to survive. We’re slowly going through holidays, birthdays, winter or summer brakes full of idleness and the question: What to eat next? Hunger is one of the fundamental alarms in our human organism, which warns us that it is time to provide fuel for our body so it can go on with its activities. Nowadays, we’re surrounded by food in every possible way. We think about food even when we follow a certain diet and we think equally about it if we’re among the few “wonders of nature” that don’t have to count calories.
But why do some of us prefer eating sweet, while others turn to savory or fat? When a question of favorite taste arises, we usually think either about sweet or savory. Most of the people prefer having something sweet on their plate. And no wonder why, considering the fact that a great number of research claim that this is an intrinsic strive. What’s inside all those sweet irresistible foods? First of all. sweet food means food that will fill up your stomach and soothe your appetite. Of course, not any kind of sweet food. The first sweets of our ancestors were fruits. Although fruit has an abundance of vitamins and minerals, many fruits contain a high amount of calories. Their sweet flavor signalizes that by consuming the fruit we’ll fuel up our brain so it can carry on working as, believe it or not, our brain mainly runs on sugar. “
Despite the biological advantages, the main feature of the sweet taste is its mild flavor. Savory, sour, spicy? All these flavors are stronger. Besides, the taste of our very first food, mother’s milk is sweet. Despite the strong feeling of pleasure provoked by the sweet taste, the power of the sweet reflects in its ability to reduce pain. This is the main characteristic of any sweet food.
However, the great evolutionary advantage of human beings is that they’re omnivores who have adaptable senses that may appreciate any kind of taste or flavor. This is a very important fact because in order for our bodies to function properly they must rely on 40 essential nutrients that can be found in different food products. This is also the answer to the question whether we may remain healthy if we go on eating only a single fruit or meat for days. A varied, yet well- balanced diet is important for both our physical and mental health.
How does food trick us? Our sense of taste is a mighty tool for achieving happiness. However, it is not only the taste that tricks us toward trying certain foods. Other factors that contribute to food temptations are smell, heat and texture of food. When we’re feeling ill, none of our favorite sweet treats feel the same.
Every gastronomic sensation begins with the taste or the smell. The cells that are sensitive to taste are in the mouth, mostly on our tongue and gums. Although many people think that we are able to recognize only four tastes, there's extra information in this topic. Apart from the sweet, savory, sour and bitter taste, there is a fifth taste called umami. Umami is a Japanese term for defining the richness of flavor that we get when we combine certain ingredients in the right way. Umami is responsible not only for the sweet taste but also for cases of overeating because it activates our hedonistic hunger.
Dietary experts have also concluded that people who prefer eating fat have a chemical receptor in the taste cells on our tongue which recognize the fat molecules. The sensibility of this fat receptor reflects the answer of the question why some people like food full of fat while others don’t.
Here’s some info for all of you who think that sweet- tooths are just people lacking character: many of the cells in our body react to the sweet taste. Sweet also activates the cells in our pancreas and intestines and even lungs. Having in mind that our entire body reacts to the sweet taste, it is no wonder that it also affects the activities of our hormonal system and the hunger hormones.
Nevertheless, before you jump for joy and think that sugar is simply stronger than you and you just can’t help not order a dessert, it is important to understand the main differences among types of sugar and the way our body uses them. Our bodies depend on glucose. Great sources of glucose are grapes and honey. When you consume glucose, it is instantly disintegrated unlike saccharides, fructose and other types of sugar. Glucose is a source of energy which is instantly available to our bodies.
And here's some good news! Treats for sweet- teeth can also be a healthy, here is some guilt-free snack that you can occasionally enjoy or share with someone to round off your lunch or dinner. Remember that there is a significant difference between desserts made with natural or refined sugar but either way, moderation is the key!