All of us have our own guilty pleasures, and for a lot of people, the indulgence in sugar and sweets ranks right up there with the rest. Little do many know, candy (especially chocolate), contains natural chemicals that produce the feel good serotonin and dopamine transmitters in the brain.
But is a ‘sweet tooth’ a real problem that we have to face? Do we really have a natural inclination to eat the foods that cause cavities?
The Science Behind Your Sweet Tooth
It’s no wonder why we tend to crave these types of foods; our bodies know the positive effects they have when consumed. While having a so-called “sweet tooth” is nothing to be ashamed of, it is nevertheless important to follow the cardinal rule of eating them in moderation.
We all have taste buds, but they do not all communicate the same signals to our sensory nervous system. Some of us may be more inclined to taste tart foods, while others cringe at the mere thought. Our sense of taste is one of the first to develop, long before we are even born in fact.
The Cravings Start When We Are Young
While in the womb, the fetus is supplied all the vital nutrients it needs for survival via the amniotic fluid. Since whatever the mother eats is passed directly onto child, it is only natural that we become accustomed to certain foods and not others.
The rate of absorption for certain tastes varies from person to person, which explains the heightened sensitivity many of us have to sweets. In other words, your sweet tooth has a lot more to do with you genetic makeup than it does your personal preference.
Mind Over Sweets
Staying true to the age-old debate over nature vs. nurture, it has been found that genetic predispositions alone are not wholly responsible for sweet tooth craving. As human beings, we learn by the experiences we have in our lives.
The mind is a powerful thing, and will often associate particular foods with the happy, positive memories of our best. Ice cream is a treasured snack the world over; for a lot of people, this may have a lot more to do with the excitement of buying from the local ice cream truck than it does with the taste per se.
While there is no actual sweet tooth, cravings can be extremely powerful for a lot of people. Next time you indulge in sweets, ensure to thoroughly brush your teeth to prevent plaque buildup and cavities.