Sweet tooth is a term believed to have originated in the 1300s and refers to a person’s strong liking or craving for sweet foods. The exact origin of the term is unclear, but it is believed to have come from the old English phrase “sweot-ðeog,” which means “sweetness of taste.” Over time, the phrase was shortened to “sweet tooth,” which is the term we use today. The concept of a “sweet tooth” has been around for centuries, and it is thought to be related to the fact that humans have an innate preference for sweet flavors. This preference may have developed as a way to detect and consume ripe fruits, which are a good source of nutrition. Today, the term “sweet tooth” is widely used to describe someone who has a strong desire for sweets or sugary foods, often to the point of overindulgence.
So why did a skill for survival become the bane of modern day illness? In one simple word, indulgence. You see a sweet tooth was a filter to separate good food from unpalatable ones. It was not for you to crave and indulge in savouries all day long.
Unfortunately, as we made progress, the availability of sweet things went from your local orchard to your bedside table. The fruit was not even that sweet, actually. But as more and more sugar began to make its way into your food, it triggered dopamine, your reward hormone. The more you ate, the more dopamine you got.
Suddenly, rewards which required hard work, was now easy to come by. Of course, your body was in heaven. Why work when you can turn over and pop a sweet thing into your mouth. But as with everything, there is such a thing as too much. The ability to distinguish sweet from unsavoury, became your weakness. Now you had gotten onto the gravy train, one you could not get off from. Except, there is a way. Cravings for sweet things can be addressed. It needs your body to be in balance, a term know in the medical world as homeostasis.