Why do I have such a sweet tooth?

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Manage episode 294736392 series 1303175
By BBC and BBC World Service. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
They say life is sweet. Well that’s certainly the case for CrowdScience listener Trevor in Poland who wonders why he can’t stop reaching for the cookie jar. He grew up drinking fruit juice with added sugar but wonders whether his genes could be as important as his environment when it comes to his sweet tooth, especially since his wife seem to be satisfied with mainly savoury snacks. The World Health Organisation says added sugar should constitute a maximum of 5% of our daily energy intake because it can contribute to diabetes, heart disease and obesity. But that’s tricky when you consider it’s now in everything from salad dressings, to savoury sauces. Manufacturers have been promoting sugar alternatives for decades but recreating the unique taste and feel of it in the mouth are a challenge. Marnie Chesterton gets to try a brand new innovation – a so-called ‘rare’ sugar that has 70 percent of the sweetness but almost none of the calories. In nature, allulose is found in figs, but one producer has discovered a way to make it in the lab. Does it taste as good as it claims? Whilst switching to alternative sugars and sweeteners may reduce the calories, some researchers claim that tasting sweetness, wherever it comes from, can disrupt the body’s mechanism for regulating blood-sugar levels, increasing the risk for conditions like diabetes. Presented by Marnie Chesterton and produced by Marijke Peters for the BBC World Service

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