April 12th, 2016 The Evil Temptation of Sweets

Spoon of SugarThe term “sweet tooth” applies to me. Do you know the origin of this word? Well, I did some research and discovered that the term dates back to the 1300’s. The “tooth” in the word does not refer to a tooth. It applies to the appetite for something that is being chewed. There you are! Almost a thousand years ago, people already had cravings for something sweet and this word came to use.

I'll be the first one to admit my undying love for sweets. I do not know when this started. Is there a point when one transitions from not liking to liking sugar? Is there a switch that causes the like/not-like condition? As long as I can remember, I craved sugar. So for sure, if there was ever a switch for me – it was always on.

Sweetness if of course one of the 5 basic tastes sensed by the tongue. Sweetness, saltiness, bitterness, sourness, and umami are all competing. For me, sweet always win. The ability to sense sugar varies by each individual. In many studies, some newborns prefer a sweeter taste than that from their mother’s milk. Sweetness appear to be more easily recognized than bitterness, another basic taste in humans.

For many diabetics, sweets are their downfall. Sugar has many implications to the body. For diabetics, the problem could be more serious. Sugar affects glucose in your blood. It also could affect caloric intake and weight gain. As we all know, obesity is now rampant and considered an epidemic.

Tongue PictureThe irony of sweet temptations for me is when I go to a pharmacy such as CVS or Walgreens to go get my prescription filled. The pharmacy section is usually located way in the back. Before you could reach that spot however, the candy aisle and the snack aisle are up in front to draw you in. I am drawn instinctively to them unfortunately.

What then is my strategy in going to these pharmacies? I rush going in and out of the store. Not a very complicated strategy, but is there a better way. So far, I seem to be winning for I have not bought candy for so many years now. That does not mean that I do not eat candy if someone else bought it.

The important thing to keep in mind, is that yes, you can have sweets from time to time. Do not over indulge. Enjoy in moderation.