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How genetics play an important role in deciding your craving for food?


Do you sometimes wonder as to why you crave for foods that you aren’t at all healthy for you and are probably contributing towards obesity? Well, the answer lies in your genes. Our genes partially control the habit of our food craving. However, various researches are going on which will further empower the people and will help them to stick to their diet plans in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Studies have shown that there are specific taste receptor regulators situated in the body for salt, sweet, and bitter preference, which are controlled by the genes present in our body. According to a research report of 2011, the genes controlling the choice of taste were identified and also there are some proteins receptors that regulate the water and mineral salt absorption in our body are connected to preferences for salt.

There are many other factors that are affected by genetics play a vital role in influencing the food craving in our body which include:

  • The body mass index
  • The reward center present in the brain
  • The hormones that regulate hunger
  • Body metabolism process.

Sweet or salty: which is the most preferable?

There have been 43 variants of the genes identified that are held responsible for the regulation of choices for the salty or sweet food. Around 24 percent of the women all over the world have a sweet tooth as compared to 2.6 percent of the male population. The eating habit and food preferences of sweet and salty food are linked to the body weight and the tendency of being obese. The people who tend to like sweet food more than any other taste are likely to be inclined towards high-calorific-density food choices. Also, the preferences for particular flavors of ice-cream are somehow connected to the genes.

When it comes to salty food it is much more regulated by bodily functions as to how the kidney filters the salt present in the urine or depends on the metabolic pathway too. But when people having a sweet tooth were studied, it showed that the connection was more towards genetic designing.

The link between salt and sugar craving:

When the brain doesn’t receive enough amount of salt, the reward center is activated that suddenly increases the craving for salty food. However, the FTO gene present in the body releases leptin hormone that controls the sugar craving while ghrelin hormone regulates the craving for salt.   


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