A particular set of genes controls how much we like sweet taste. Everyone has these genes, but they’re not active in most individuals. Genetics and culture work together to make us all love this flavor (at least to some degree). Differences in their genetic makeup can explain the main difference between people regarding loving sweetness. People possess a group of genes that code to produce a protein known as TAS1R3. The job of these proteins is to detect sweet flavors and send signals to the brain when they come in contact with them.
Why People Love Sweets So Much
There are plenty of reasons why sweets are dear to us all. Here are some of the main ones:
Sweets Are Readily Available and Tasty
Sweets (and sweet-tasting foods) are everywhere, and they’re delicious. These qualities make them very easy to acquire and consume whenever we want. You can find your favorite lolly mix in online stores, restaurants, vending machines, cafeterias, or gas stations. The fact that such a large selection of items (sweet or otherwise) is available at our fingertips daily makes it even more likely for us to consume these tasty treats at some point. Everything from fruit snacks to pastries has been prepared in a way that maximizes their taste appeal. Many of these products also come in small sizes so people can eat just a little bit of what they want without feeling guilty about it later on.
When we eat sweet foods, our bodies release serotonin. This neurotransmitter is associated with happiness and joy (the same chemical that antidepressants work on). Eating sweets can make us feel good because it triggers this reaction in our brains. When you crave something sweet, your body most likely needs sugar to fuel itself. Those who don’t get enough of it suffer from fatigue, decreased mental performance and moodiness.
Sugar Can Be Addictive
Like many other addictive substances, sugar is addictive. This only tends to be the case for people who consume large amounts of it daily. This roller coaster of blood sugar levels can harm your mood when you experience highs and lows in your blood sugar level throughout the day (due to constant snacking on high-sugar foods). This is one of the main reasons people who rely on sweets to get through their day may feel “addicted” to them.
Culture Makes Us Love Sweets Even More
Human beings are social creatures by nature. We rely on the presence of others to survive, so being part of a group has been very important for our survival throughout history. This means that having things in common with other people was crucial. When you find out that most other people love something, this is enough to make you love it too. Sweets are associated with special occasions and social gatherings, so most of us have consumed them at least once in our lives. Our culture tells us that sweets are part of celebrations, holidays, family meals, etc., making them more appealing.
Sweets Can Be a Pleasant Comfort Food
As we mentioned earlier, sugar can make us feel good and improve our mood. It’s no wonder why many people crave sweets when they’re feeling stressed out, sad, or anxious. This isn’t just because sugar gives them a pick-me-up; it’s also because it tends to take their minds off of whatever else is bothering them. Eating sweet foods has also been shown to increase energy levels and improve motor function in young children (and even adults). So if you’ve had a hard day at work/school and need something to energize yourself with, what do you reach for? Probably not bitter veggies or salty snacks.
Sweet Is As Diverse As Sugar
It’s pretty impressive when you look at all of the different types of sweet things that exist in our world. There are so many varieties of candies, chocolates, desserts, and they all taste unique to us. This is because there are so many ways to make something sweet. Depending on how much or how little you add to your dishes/snacks, you can create a wide range of tastes using sugar (and other ingredients) depending on how much or how little you add to your dishes/snacks. You can use white or brown sugar, which has slightly different flavor profiles; these are just two common examples. There are also many different liquids you can choose from (e.g., water, fruit juice) and several other items that can be used to sweeten up your food/beverage, like honey or molasses.
Sweetness is highly desirable, and everyone loves it to some degree or another. Those who don’t have TAS1R3 proteins are the only ones who don’t enjoy sweets as much as others do. Our genetics determines these proteins’ presence (or absence), and they play a significant role in how we perceive flavors. Our culture makes us like sweet foods, even more, so most of us will gladly eat them whenever we can.