Curbing Your Taste for Sweets and Sugar --Part 1
Ideal Breakfast for Diabetics
How to Curb Your Cravings for Sugar
How Much Sugar Is In Your Food?
How Much Is Too Much Salt?
Waist Size Matters
Foods That Shrink Your Waist
Tastebuds Can Sabotage Your Diet
Diet and Exercise-Simple Plan
Bad Sleep Linked to Heart Disease
Snoring Raises Risk of Stroke
Foods That Reduce Blood Pressure
Foods That Speed Up Your Metabolism
November 7, 2008, last updated January 4, 2013
By Sara Ott, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist
Westerners have a sweet tooth. We have built empires in our quest to satisfy an
almost endless craving for sugar and sweet chocolate.
Problem is, that most of the Western world --and a growing part of Asian and
the Eastern world-- is overweight or obese. It is estimated by the Centers on
Disease Control in America that 67% of all Americans are overweight and a full
33% are actually obese. Diabetes is now poised to become the top killer disease
in the world.
Update: Are Some of Us Born to Love Sweets?
There is some evidence that our preference for sweets is hardwired into our
brains even before we are born. Scientists have discovered an intriguing link
between the weight babies in the womb and their preference for sweets once
they are born. A 2012 study led by Dr. Caroline Ayers and Dr. Marilyn
Agranovik from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Rua Ramiro
Barcelos in Brazil examined babies who were born underweight versus normal
weight babies. Shortly after being delivered, the babies were given
concentrated sugar solutions or water to test their response to both. The
scientists discovered that those babies who were underweight had a muted
response to sugar. They were less sensitive to sugar. On the other hand, those
babies who were normal weight had a more eager response to sugar.
What does this mean? The researchers theorize that children who underreact to
sugar when they are born -- those who are underweight – will tend to eat
more sugar over their lifetimes because they will need to eat far more to get the
same sensation of sweetness. The normal weight babies will tend to eat less
sugar over their lifetimes because their normal sensitivity to sugar will mean
that they will be satisfied with less.
The Role of Tastebuds in Our Cravings for Sweets
One until now poorly understood reason for the growing epidemic of obesity
and diabetes are our taste buds. Most of us are born with about 10,000 taste
buds. But according to a 1991 study by researchers at Yale Medical School,
about 25% of us have more than 20,000 taste buds, twice the normal amount.
These "supertasters" have a heightened sensitivity to taste.
Supertasters tend to choose different diets than the rest of us. Supertasters
tend not to crave sweets, alcohol and chocolate for example. The rest of us--
called "average tasters" -- tend to like sweet, fat and alcohol. Sound familiar?
Article continues below.
Americans and Europeans tend to have fewer supertasters among us. This may
go a long ways toward explaining why Americans and some Europeans tend to
eat more fatty foods and have a sweeter tooth than Asians or Africans or South
Little wonder then, that most of our diets fail. We have just never come to grips
with the enemy --that sweet tooth of ours. Scientists who have studied taste
believe that we are born with a built-in desire for sweets and a distaste for
things bitter. Since sweets are high in energy, we are genetically programmed
to seek the sweetness of mother's milk. On the other hand, we are genetically
programmed to shun bitter foods because in nature, many bitter foods are
So, how do you curb your cravings for sweets? How do you curb that sweet
tooth that cries out for sugar?
The solution is in your mouth, it turns out. The secret ally for curbing your
sweet tooth are your taste buds.
The taste buds that sense "sweet" are located at the tip of the tongue. Those
that taste sour are along the sides and those that taste "bitter" are near the
Our 10,000 taste buds give us the ability to sense salt, sweet, sour bitter and
umami, the earthy taste that comes from slow-cooked foods.
Compared to other animals, we humans have been shortchanged. Some insects
can taste with their antennae and feet as well as their mouths. Fish can taste
with their fins and tails as well as their mouths.
Cows have 25,000 taste buds and rabbits have 17,000.
Nonetheless, our 10,000 taste buds work remarkably well for most of our lives.
The number of buds remains constant until they start gradually to decline,
around age 40 for women and age 60 for men.
There are 2 powerful tricks discovered by dieters and confirmed by research
which can turn help you to tame that sweet tooth. The first trick is to exchange
oil for sugar. If you increase --- slightly --- the amount of oil you eat and at the
same time decrease the amount of white carbohydrates (white bread, potatoes,
white flour), you will start to lose your cravings for sweets in about 10 days to
This is the "trick" behind the success of many of the low-carb diets.
Vinegar Kills Your Sweet Tooth
The second way to curb your cravings for sweets and sugar is to eat something
bitter or sour. If you sprinkle a bit of apple cider vinegar and oil, for example,
on your salads, you will find that you tend to eat less sugar. Apple cider vinegar
normalizes blood sugar and insulin production, preventing peaks which can lead
to sugar cravings.
The only downside is that vinegar consumed in excess can destroy tooth
enamel. It may help to take the apple cider in moderation and not to drink it in
volume as some proponents have advocated.
One other important benefit of vinegar is its ability to fight infection generally
throughout the body. Before the discovery of penicillin and anti-biotics, vinegar
was used for many centuries and around the world to treat infection.
The Mother of All Vinegars
Are some apple cider vinegars better for curbing your sweet tooth? Some non-
organic apple cider vinegars lack an enzyme called a "mother enzyme". A
vinegar mother is the culture of live bacteria which produces the acetic acid
which turns wine into vinegar or cider into cider vinegar. Almost all
supermarket vinegars are sterilized before being offered for sale, and thus lack
the mother enzyme.
Some whole foods or organic chains now carry several brands of organic
mother cider vinegar. Failing that, you should be able to find several at online
stores. You can find some of those sources on the banner on this page to the
My best advice is to shop around and sample a few until you find one that suits
your taste and budget.
Taste Buds--5 Tips For Improving Your Sense of Taste
Taste Buds--The Secret to Losing Weight
How Much Is too Much Salt?
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My Heart Attack
Why Your Waist Size Matters
Why We Americans Read In Bathrooms--The Hidden Health Epidemic
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