Photo by House of Thailand, licensed by CC
Chocolate cake and apples both taste sweet. So when it comes to dessert, why do we find ourselves opting for baked goods over fruit?
Our brains respond differently to sugar and calories, prioritizing calorie consumption over satisfying our cravings for sweets, according to new research published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. The findings could explain why we're always more tempted by desserts packed with sugar, as opposed to desserts packed with calorie-free sweeteners.
"The sugar-responsive circuitry in the brain is therefore hardwired to prioritize calorie seeking over taste quality," de Iraujo said, according to PsyPost.
But Marci Clow, a registered dietician nutritionist at Rainbow Light, questions the reliability of this new study. She told Mic via email, "I think it is still a gray area, and more research is needed to solidify any claim that calories and not sweetness/taste makes us crave sugary foods."
Clow pointed to a study at the University of Michigan, where trial participants played a computer game where they could win more of their favorite milkshakes. People worked harder to earn sweeter milkshakes, the researchers found.
"People, especially those people who are at risk for obesity ... are willing to work much harder to get those junky, sugary processed foods," said Dr. Ashley Gearhardt, an assistant professor of clinical psychology at the University of Michigan, according to Today.
Read the full article "Here's the Real Reason You Can't Say No to Sugary Desserts, According to Science" at Mic.