We Indians all felt the notorious “sweet tooth” rear its ugly head one time or another; whether it’s that urge to run down to the sweet shop to buy Gulabjamuns, the impulse to grab just one more of those delicious pieces of Kajukatri in the sweet box, or the need to eat a couple of extra servings of dessert after dinner. The simple explanation for these cravings is that we Indians have evolved a taste for sweet things.
Few of the theories behind this sweet cravings are based on hardwiring of our system as a protective and beneficiary response!
What can be the summation is this:
- Early in human civilisation when it was still in the phase of what could actually be taken inside mouth without harming, few things came to their discovery. Bitter things were generally harmful as most of the plant poisons are alkaloids and which elicits a bitter taste. Sweet things were generally good in terms of fulfilment and safety. And even that they could remain without eating for a long time post.
- Sweet things now that we can research were found to stimulate a release of serotonin in our heads which is a sleep inducing chemical it relaxes and gives a sense of satisfaction!
And now most of the sweet things we now know are carbohydrates which are a rich source of energy and safe!
From an evolutionary point of view, we can agree with our attraction towards sweet food has benefitted the human species in the sense that it triggered us to seek out safe and energy-dense foods rich in certain vitamins such as vitamin C that are hard to obtain from animal products.
The problem is that we’ve now created an environment where these hard-wired mechanisms not only “aren’t needed”, they work against us. The foods such as pastries, soda, and candy aren’t just rich in sugar, but also other ingredients such as fat, starch, salt, and glutamate. Also, they are cheap and easily accessible. Although our food environment has changed dramatically, our physiology remains largely unchanged, and it’s, therefore, no surprise that so many Indians end up buying these highly processed products again and again. However, what we also know is that this attraction to sweet food varies from person to person.
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Posted by : PriyaJ | 2017-07-10