Why do we crave for something sweet after meals?

Often we tend to indulge in ice-creams, desserts, custards, or simply chocolates even after a wholesome meal. Eating desserts has been associated with celebration and rewards since childhood, hence very often we find happiness and solace in consuming sweets. However, these sweet cravings ruin all our efforts to lose weight and leave us with a guilty feeling. But there is indeed a physiological reasoning behind this association.

Consuming sweet foods gives us happiness because they increase the serotonin levels. Serotonin is a chemical released by the brain which controls food intake, especially carbohydrates and high serotonin levels gives a feeling of “high” or uplifts our mood. Low serotonin levels occurring due to stress or depression are often a trigger for consuming carbohydrate –rich foods.

Why do most of us crave for sweets soon after meals?

One reason could be simple brain conditioning wherein we feel that the meal is incomplete without a dessert.  

Secondly, it has been proposed that meals which are mainly carbohydrate dense, especially containing simple carbohydrates (refined cereals, white rice, etc) causing a rapid rise in blood sugar may be followed by sudden drop in levels; once the sugar is utilized by cells resulting in craving for sweet foods. However, there is no definite scientific evidence to prove this theory.

Thirdly, a meal consisting of mostly simple sugars in the form of refined wheat flour, polished white rice, sugary beverage may get digested quickly and cause rapid drop in blood sugar levels resulting in hunger .

Sweet cravings are natural but need to be dealt with to avoid those extra calories . In our next blog, find tips to overcome these !





Author: drpoojachhawcharia

Dr Pooja Chhawcharia is the Senior Nutritionist at eKincare with over 7 years of experience in Nutrition education, diet counseling and research. She is a Registered Dietician with the Indian Dietetic Association and Certified Diabetes Educator recognized by the International Diabetes federation . She is also interested in ancillary sciences such as Yoga and Naturopathy.

2 thoughts on “Why do we crave for something sweet after meals?”

  1. The more sugary things you eat the more you crave them. In my opinion a lot of it has to do with the persons habits and acquired taste. They can’t seem to get enough satisfaction from eating normal whole foods and need to have something that stimulates them.


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