Someone explain to me our affinity for sugar in relation to evolution
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18-02-2012, 01:07 AM
Someone explain to me our affinity for sugar in relation to evolution
The title pretty much covers it. Why does sugar set off pleasurable chemicals in our brains? Wouldn't it be more beneficial to our survival to have such a reaction to protein or nutrients? Why are we hardwired to desire the least healthy food there is? Is it a "there are more calories and less food to eat" thing? Is it a "well fruit has sugar and so we are consequently attracted to fruit" thing?

Evolution favors survival (well, favored), so why don't we get the same amount of endorphins from eating carrots or broccoli?

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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18-02-2012, 01:24 AM
RE: Someone explain to me our affinity for sugar in relation to evolution
(18-02-2012 01:07 AM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  The title pretty much covers it. Why does sugar set off pleasurable chemicals in our brains? Wouldn't it be more beneficial to our survival to have such a reaction to protein or nutrients? Why are we hardwired to desire the least healthy food there is? Is it a "there are more calories and less food to eat" thing? Is it a "well fruit has sugar and so we are consequently attracted to fruit" thing?

Evolution favors survival (well, favored), so why don't we get the same amount of endorphins from eating carrots or broccoli?

I don't know but......OMG, that's 'powdered toast man'!!!

Humankind Dodgy (a total misnomer)
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18-02-2012, 01:41 AM
RE: Someone explain to me our affinity for sugar in relation to evolution
(18-02-2012 01:24 AM)aurora2020 Wrote:  I don't know but......OMG, that's 'powdered toast man'!!!












"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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18-02-2012, 01:49 AM
RE: Someone explain to me our affinity for sugar in relation to evolution
Sweet things usually contain simple sugars such as sucrose, fructose, and glucose. These simple sugars are able to provide energy in the form of ATP through cellular respiration, which is energy for our body to carry out various important processes. Thus, in the past where food is scarcer, food that is sweet will be more favoured by us, as it means such food contains more sugar, which gives us more energy.

Salt also provides us pleasure when mixed with food. Salts such as NaCl and KCl contain important ions such as Na+, K+ and Cl- which are used in cell signalling in our bodies. Taking in salts periodically at suitable amounts will replenish the ions and thus ensure a proper membrane potential.

A similar reason may be also why we abhor bitter or sour things. Poisonous or spoilt food are either bitter or sour, and may pose a danger to our body. The deterrence to such food may contribute to our survival.

Such evolutionary traits are beneficial to our ancestors in the past, but that leads to unintended side effects. Some of us crave junk food, which is sweet but unhealthy, and some of us dislike vegetables and fruits such as lemons, bitter gourds which are healthy, but either sour or bitter.

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18-02-2012, 01:55 AM
RE: Someone explain to me our affinity for sugar in relation to evolution
Happy Happy Joy Joy...We love you, powdered toast man!
Edit: Sorry about the hijack

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18-02-2012, 12:28 PM
RE: Someone explain to me our affinity for sugar in relation to evolution
(18-02-2012 01:07 AM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  The title pretty much covers it. Why does sugar set off pleasurable chemicals in our brains? Wouldn't it be more beneficial to our survival to have such a reaction to protein or nutrients? Why are we hardwired to desire the least healthy food there is? Is it a "there are more calories and less food to eat" thing? Is it a "well fruit has sugar and so we are consequently attracted to fruit" thing?

Evolution favors survival (well, favored), so why don't we get the same amount of endorphins from eating carrots or broccoli?

Who told you sugar was Unhealthy? That is a mistake.

The Beauty of The Scientific Method , is the Anticipation of a Better Explanation.
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18-02-2012, 12:43 PM
RE: Someone explain to me our affinity for sugar in relation to evolution
I have had sugar cane out of the ground, and let me tell you, its pure deliciousness.
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18-02-2012, 01:58 PM
RE: Someone explain to me our affinity for sugar in relation to evolution
The problem isn't that we crave something that is unhealthy. The problem lies withon the fact that relatively speaking, these things have very suddenly become very available. In excess, sugar, fat, salt, etc. are unhealthy, but in the quantities available to earlier man, they were nescessary, and sought after because they provided us with fast and efficient nourishment. Ripe fruit, for example, would have been prized by early man. It was full of readily available energy in the form of sugar. But now, we can access as much sugar as we want, and since evolution wired us to desire it, we instinctively eat it as much as we can.

The jist of it is that evolution has yet to catch up with the rapid change in availability of our most desired tastes.

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18-02-2012, 05:18 PM
RE: Someone explain to me our affinity for sugar in relation to evolution
It could also be left over from our primate days. Our ancestors probably lived primarily off fruit if you go that far back.

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18-02-2012, 05:44 PM
RE: Someone explain to me our affinity for sugar in relation to evolution
What? You're full of shit; I love carrots. I'd rather eat a whole pot of cooked carrots than a chocolate bar.

I think we are made to evolve in whatever direction evolution is taking... we follow our own social/cultural leads. If that direction happens to be toward obesity and death before the age of 50... looks like that line might die out early, while others might go on after 50.
We'll call them the carrot eaters. Dodgy

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