You are always the one who looks into the ‘Desserts’ page of the menu card, visits the desserts section in a buffet first, can’t wait for the sweets and kheers to be served during marriages and gets excited when your family plans for the forthcoming function or pooja as there is ought to be an array of sweetmeats! If these descriptions perfectly suit you then you fit the bill for the definition of a person with sweet tooth. In an era where we love our lives to be thrilling, full of cheerfulness, action-packed, fast-paced and exciting a dash of sweetness would indeed add more joy to our living. A celebration, family reunion, good news or anything positive starts with some sweets and even a newborn is given some sugar as soon as he/she is born to welcome the baby unto this world. When such is the power of sweet and sugar why are we opposed to the view of having a sweet tooth?
I have a sweet tooth and so does my daughter! But isn’t it practical that each of us have a sweet tooth or like something sweet-maybe the hot jamuns or the creamy rabdi! How would the cola industries and our nearby confectionaries thrive if we all start eliminating sugar from our everyday routines? Beyond all these, don’t we need them for procuring energy and carrying on with our day to day activities? It’s been observed that sugar preferences are influenced by age as well as gender. Kids have a pronounced sweet tooth compared to parents maybe in the footsteps of the popular bear Winnie the Pooh who loves to lick honey from the jar! But not all animals have sweet receptors and the best example are cats which would lick milk anytime or even sweat on your hand than eat something sweet. Finally, we always have a misconception that every overweight/obese individual has a sweet tooth but don’t you think there’s more to obesity than sweets and sugar?
Sugars: An Essential Ingredient in Life
Sugar indeed is a regular part of our lives and almost 10% of our energy needs must come from sugar. The present-day lifestyle practices and eating routines have surpassed these demarcations with the broader baked good, confectionaries and gourmet foods available most of which contain abundant sugar, fats and ample calories. If you look deeper there is nothing unhealthy about sugar and we should never try to bring the numbers down to zero in our diets. While sugar has been linked with increased risk of tooth decay, obesity, fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and premature death the problem does not lie with the fact that humans consume sugar but with the fact that they are eating too much of this white devil. Not all sugars are created equally. There are our very own fruits that occupy top priority in the sugar list whose consumption can affect weight changes but it is also full of nutrients. The physicians and health experts recommend individual to have at least 5 portions of fruits daily to fulfill nutrient requirements which is not present in other sugar-rich confectionaries, cakes and biscuits. Fruits are rich in glucose and individuals do like fruits but nowhere in the world do we call individuals who love fruits as having a sweet tooth!
Sugar is nothing but carbohydrates-a macronutrient needed for our daily life but whose effect depends on the choice of the carbs that we make! Mankind needs vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to survive a healthy life but sugar has crept into most of the foods prepared and sold. A documentary on sugar intake showed that if all the sugar-containing foods were removed from a supermarket there would be only about 20% of products remaining to be picked (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/22/well/eat/the-downside-of-having-a-sweet-tooth.html?rref=collection%2Fspotlightcollection%2Fwell-nutrition). This makes much sense if you think-the biscuits, cornflakes, muesli, breads, chocolates, canned sweets and juices are all filled with sugar.
Having a sweet tooth might be considered good for the mood as indulging in your favorite cake or dessert helps to elevate your mood but only in the short-term. But a study now shows that there is a link between sugar and mood disorders, especially among men-higher the intake of sugary foods likelier it is to have opposite effect on mental health of individuals in the long run.
Sugar too might be an addiction and the sweet tooth is not just an interest but might become a passion in the long run. The unavailability of your favorite candy or absence of a fizzy cola might cause frustration and irritation to build upon. Also, eating more and more sugar might cause your taste buds to yearn for more sugar than previously to send signals of fulfillment to the brain. The body becomes more resistant and less sensitive to sugar intake. Such increased intake of sugar might force your pancreas to work overtime and as you eat more there is a greater quantity of insulin released in the body.
Having a sweet tooth is not a sin and it is not wrong to indulge in sweet treats occasionally to satisfy your sweet tooth. But all that is needed is to prevent this from becoming a habit. Fruits are the best sweet treats and if a person accepts that he/she has a sweet tooth for none other than our very own fruits that’s the finest reply one can expect! Eat a piece of cake, drink a soda and munch on a choco chip muffin occasionally to feel good. But also ensure to stay away from white sugar as much as possible to stay healthy!
Monday’s Medical Myth: Blame it on the Sweet Tooth: https://theconversation.com/mondays-medical-myth-blame-it-on-my-sweet-tooth-6740
Is it Time to Start Cutting Down on the Sweet Stuff? https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/diets/453684/Is-your-sweet-tooth-making-you-fat-How-you-can-cut-down-on-sugar
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.