Wish to treat your sweet tooth with a doughnut, cookie or pastry every now and then? Wondering what is causing these cravings for desserts? Now you can blame sugar cravings on your DNA. Read on to know what sugar cravings have to do with genetics.
Good News for People Having a Sweet Tooth!!!! Now You Can Blame Sugar Cravings on Your DNA!!! How Great Is That!!
While stress, lack of sleep and hormones are often linked with sugar cravings,(1) the actual reason behind a sweet tooth can be entirely out of a person’s control. New research suggests that some people can be genetically programmed to love ice creams, cookies and candies. This may sound surprising, but with this approach, now you can blame sugar cravings on your DNA.
A study was conducted in which a team of international researchers collected the genetic data of 6500 Danes. They found that those people who possessed one of the two specific variants of the FGF21 gene were about 20% more likely to look for sugar and consume more sweets. For ones wondering how exactly a gene can influence their need for candy and ice cream, here’s the answer. Researchers found that the FGF21 gene instructs the body to produce the FGF21 hormone.(2,3) This hormone, which is secreted by the liver, can play a major role in an individual’s food preferences and sweet cravings, along with cravings for alcohol and cigarettes, by either increasing or decreasing their sweet tooth.(4)
This is a groundbreaking research since it offers an alternative reason why only certain people crave for sweets. This study also offers an insight into the molecular basis of the sweet tooth. But why does a person have sweet tooth at a biological level? Like the hormone called leptin, which regulates appetite, FGF21 also suppresses the neural response to rewards, both in terms of the desire to seek them and consume them. However, the correlation between sweet tooth and the FGF21 gene in humans is believed to be more of hypothesis-generating than definitive. This is because of the fact that it was not possible to determine whether the study subjects differed in other important ways, which can affect the appetite and cravings.
But researchers hope that this study can help people gain a better and deeper understanding about the impact of the FGF21 gene on body weight and Type 2 diabetes. In an experiment conducted on mice deficient in the FGF21 hormone, it was observed that they ate twice as much sucrose, as the mice with the hormone. Experts are using this observation to understand whether people who are completely deficient in FGF21 can be alcohol or sugar superfreaks.
Ways of Controlling Sugar Cravings
Such researches give a chance with which you can blame sugar cravings on your DNA. But it is also true that such studies need more in-depth research. This would also help in identifying the influencing factors and give a better idea about the ways to control sugar cravings. Nevertheless, it is necessary to take the right action by planning a healthy diet and finding out healthy ways and foods to control excess intake of sweet foods and drinks.
Having a sweet tooth or wishing to eat sweets may be a personal choice, but consuming too much sugary foods is unhealthy. Sugar not only adds to excess calories and body weight, but can also increase the risk of oral problems, digestive troubles and other lifestyle disorders. Hence, it is beneficial to control sugar cravings, especially if they occur quite often and affect your health. While you can blame sugar cravings on your DNA, which explains the reason why a person cannot stop thinking about that doughnut or pastry, there are certain things which you can do to curb your sugar cravings considerably.
Here are some of the easy and healthy tips to control excessive sugar intake or curb their sweet cravings, naturally.
Short and Frequent Meals (5): Eating at short intervals, to maintain constant supply of energy and avoiding spikes in blood sugar levels and thus curbs your sugar cravings.
Nutritious Diet: Having a diet packed with proteins, vitamins and minerals to avoid nutritional deficiencies can help control your sugar cravings.(3)
Hydration in Different Forms: Drinking plenty of water to prevent dehydration and improve satiety can curb sugar cravings.(6) You can also opt for coconut water or buttermilk to maintain hydration and halt those sugar cravings.
Increase Your Whole Grains Consumption: Replacing foods containing simple or refined carbohydrates with whole grains like whole wheat, oats, barley, quinoa and brown rice helps in managing sugar cravings.
Using Natural Forms of Sugar (3): Substituting refined sugar with fresh fruits and dry fruits in your diet helps in kicking those sugar cravings.
Eat Fresh & Healthy Food: Avoiding the use of artificial sweeteners, processed and refined foods helps in curbing sugar cravings.
To Sum Up……
As consumption of excess sugar adds to excess calories and weight, a lot of research is underway to understand about sugar cravings. According to some studies, now you can blame sugar cravings on your DNA, which may not be in your control. But planning a healthy diet and following a healthy lifestyle is definitely in your control. So, to be healthy and reduce the risk of illnesses, it is best to follow a healthy diet and it is also advisable to seek medical opinion for further medical advice and treatment for uncontrollable sugar cravings.