Lehi Pediatric Dentistry

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Sweet Tooth

Why not have a sweet tongue craving?

Why not have a sweet lip craving?

What's with the Sweet Tooth???

Why do we have a craving for sweet foods or the tendency to have such cravings.

"I need some jelly beans to satisfy my sweet tooth"

"He ruined his appetite because he gave in to his sweet tooth and ate 3 pounds of frosting."

In an interview at The Smithsonian, evolutionary biologist Jason Cryan explained why humans generally have predisposition to sweet foods and a disinterest in bitter foods:

The evolutionary explanation for the sweet tooth revolved around that idea that we have physiologically associated a sweet taste with high-energy foods which would have helped our earliest ancestors survive better in their environment (getting more “bang-for-the-buck”….if an individual has to spend time and effort foraging for food, it’s better to obtain energy-dense food items than energy-poor food items). When one considers our ability to taste, our ability to perceive “sweet” is relatively weak, while our ability to perceive “bitter” is generally considered much stronger (in fact, the strongest of our taste reception, on average). Perception of “bitter” is thought to be an evolutionary strategy of quickly identifying plants that contain potentially harmful toxins (produced as secondary plant compounds). Thus, evolving a low tolerance to “bitter” and a high tolerance to “sweet”‘ might have promoted our ancestors to actively seek out sweet tasting foods.


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