I don't have a sweet tooth. I don't crave any food. Given a chance, I would choose spicy food rather than sugary ones. But what I don't understand is why some people crave sugar so much. Yesterday, while at the grocery store, I overheard a girl saying she came to the grocery store the previous night just to buy orange juice, and finished it in her car. I couldn't really believe it (I am male/24yrs). Is this genetic, or the way you grow up, or something else? My dad is similar to me, but my mom would enjoy an ice cream any day. One more observation - I always see that women crave sweets more than men. Why? (as I said I am just stating my observation).
In the case of women: From personal experience, I find I crave sweets and sugar at different times of the month. Some days I could go crazy with chocolate and such like, other days I am not so worried about anything sugary.
I read that it was all to do with the menstrual cycle and the balance of iron in the body. This is related to sugar intake, as women on high sugar/carb diets tend to have more unpredictable iron levels throughout their monthly cycles, which move in higher and lower peaks and troughs compared to those on low-carb diets, causing them to crave more carbs and sugar at specific times to compensate.
Men are more 'balanced' in this respect, but I have seen many more men addicted to alcohol than women, which of course is only another type of sugar......it comes in many forms after all.
Sugar would have only been available at a certain time of year as fruit, perhaps honey and roots, and would have served the purpose of giving us an extra layer of fat for the winter. After 9 months of eating meat and a few greens, I would expect that the autumn glut of fruits and berries would not have been turned down by anyone, no matter how 'un-sweet-toothed' they were....as someone already mentioned it is all a matter of scarcity and abundance and preparation for future seasonal 'famines'.
Sugar is a very concentrated source of energy, so as animals, we evolved to find it attractive. We have biological responses to it that make it addictive (the high and burst of energy that it gives can be pleasant). This wasn't a problem when naturally-occurring sugar was difficult to find. However, it's a nightmare now that our modern society has made it so the cheapest and easiest to obtain foods are sugar-based. Our bodies weren't meant to handle it, yet those biological urges still push us to eat it.
To make this worse, there are also cultural aspects to sugar that make it appealing. We've grown up enjoying sugar as a celebration (think birthday cakes for kids, pizza parties, candy as a reward, Hallowe'en, etc.) and there are psychological barriers to overcome as well when kicking the sugar habit.
Humans (and guinea pigs) are the only mammals incapable of taking sugar and turning it into vitamin c. Some have hypothesized that sugar cravings in humans are an evolutionary left-over from a time when we used to be able to synthesize vitamin c. I'm not sure how valid this theory is, or how widely accepted it is, but it sounds good to me.
I could just as easily ask you why you like spicy food. Sugar is a high density caloric food and before refinement, also came with nutrients. Seems natural to me to desire it. My question to you would be, why do you not crave sugar? ;-P
Sugar tastes good.
Especially a lot of sugar concentrated into a small food, makes the food even more addictive.
Without fiber and protein, food is not really that filling. It's easy to fill up on meat, but not candy.
its about peoples personal stories. some best nutrisious food was sugar. so they remember that sugar give something.
they never know ever real good food, so they crave for the best food they know. that is sugar for them. sadly...
My theory is that this is specific appetite at work. The degree to which you're 'addicted' to sugar is down to your ability to use body fat as a fuel source. This in turn is dependent on the nutritional state of your body, and given sugar actively depletes minerals like chromium http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WN4-4C4WCSW-HS&_user=10&_coverDate=06/30/1986&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1576412593&_rerunOrigin=scholar.google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=1d92f37e2732ec1308cf8a710be5ce70&searchtype=a ... eating it increases your desire for it thus making cravings worse.
To put it more simply, you want sugar because you can't burn fat easily.
As for why women crave more than men, Louise hit the nail on the head above.
Personally, I found my sweet tooth went within weeks on a paleo ish diet (ish being inc potatoes and dairy). I wasn't addicted to sugar, I was just missing minerals.
If I am really hungry, like when I miss a meal, I crave sweets. If presented with a choice of a nutritious balanced meal or a hot fudge sundae, I will choose the sundae at these times. Hence, they say never go grocery shopping when you're hungry.
However, some people buy chips and fattu dips, etc., rather than sugary foods at these times.
I have a hypothesis that people who drink alcohol regularly crave salt and fat, and those who do not drink alcohol or do so very seldom, crave sweets.
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