The Evolution of the Sweet Tooth

The Urban Monk

“You’ll get a sugar rush!”

“You’ll get pimples on your skin.”

“You’ll grow a spare tire around your midsection.”

And while all of those things are true

Our Ancestors and Sweet Things

Many moons ago, fruits were hard to come by. Vegetables were much more accessible.

The Liver Gene

Turns out that just like some of our ancestors had the desire for sweets coded into their genes, we have a genetic mutation today that appears more strongly in some of us than in others.

The more sweet food we eat, the more FGF21 is released in the liver where it travels through the bloodstream to the brain. The brain registers the FGF21 as a sugar craving and tells the body it needs sugar.

Except, in this case, you don’t need sugar. You want it.

So if this gene is present in your body, and your desire for sugar is already higher than that of your average compatriot, you eat more sugar. Eating more sugar produces more of the hormone, which tells you again to eat more sugar.

And so on, and so forth.

How Much Do We Really Need?

The presence of FGF21 isn’t a death sentence — it’s not the endgame.



NY Times Best Selling Author, filmmaker, and founder of

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