Taste is a subjective matter of individual liking. Depending upon various conditions like climate of a particular country, religion followed there, tradition and culture of the people there etc, food products greatly differ in taste and so are food habits. However, in a globalised era of modern times, food products of one country are becoming increasingly available in other countries and that too easily which is the principle reason ffor changed lifestyle and food habits. Therefore before eating such food products, a thought should be given towards the nature of food, its properties and mode of action in the body, idications and contra-indications etc as it may or may not be suitable for people other than the country of its origin. Though there are innumerable types of food products available in market, they can be classified into six basic groups depending upon fundamental taste viz- Sweet, Sour, Salty, Spicy, Bitter and Astringent. Study of properties and action of it will give a fair idea of prepared food product.
Any substance which creates a sense of fulfillment, heaviness, provides vital nourishment to all organs and helps to susutain there functions and which is even liked by ants is considered to be sweet in taste. The taste of sweet food keeps on lingering in mouth well after its consumption. Of all the tastes, sweet taste is the most basic fundamental taste that human being comes in contact with right from birth in the form of fooding of breastmilk
Common example of substances that are sweet to taste are- Milk, butter, ghee, sugar, brown sugar, honey, sugarcane, grapes, mango, jack fruit, gold, liquorice etc..
- Food sweet to taste are generally cold in nature.
- They are also unctuous in nature.
- Sweet food is heavy to digest and digestion of it takes long time as compared with others.
- Sweet food is the basic source of energy to carry all the functions of body. It increases strength and vitality of body by providing overall nourishment. For eg; sugar dissolved in water provides instant energy as evident in hypoglycaemia.
- It helps to increase immune power of body by providing nourishment and increasing overall strength.Eg; milk.
- Food sweeet in taste provide nouishment to sensory organs and maintain their functionand freshness and alertness. Eg; ghee, butter, honey etc are especially useful to eyes and help to increase power of vision.
- Due to its unctuous nature, sweet food is useful for increasing and maintaining quality of voice. Pure ghee, butter, liquorice etc is useful in hoarseness of voice and dry cough.
- Sweet food is also a good source of energy for people of old age as it provides nourishment. As the age advances dryness in the body increases and leads to debility which can be restricted by use of sweet food like ghee, milk, cream of milk etc that are unctuous in nature.
- Due to its cold nature, sweet food help in cooling down and regulate excess temperature. Milk, sugar, ghee etc are useful in controlling hyperacidity, burning sensation in the body, giddiness etc
- Food and drugs sweet in taste help to increase breastmilk. Eg; asparagus is very much useful.
Overuse of it will lead to:
- Low digestive fire: As it is heavy to digest and cold in nature, sweet food in excess quantity leads to low digestive fire and may cause indigestion, fever, drowsiness etc.
- Obesity: Due to its cold and unctuous nature, excess of sweet will lead to more fat formation and cause obesity. It will thus increase risk factor for diseases like diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease etc.
- Coma: Continued excess of sweet especially by diabetic patient may ultimately lead to hyperglycaemia and result in coma due to loss of counsiousness.
- Worms: Childrens are very much fond of eating sweets like chocolates and dairy products etc and regular and excess use of it is bound to produce indigestion, worm infestation, dental carries etc.
- As sweet are heavy to digest and unctuous, avoid it during night or in case of indigestion, fever etc as digestive fire is low.
- Avoid sweets containing preservatives or added flavours like chocolates, jam, jelly, icecreams, pastries etc.
- Sweets like sugar,brown sugar, butter, milk, cream of milk or fruits like mango, jack fruit, banana etc and cereals like newly grown-up rice etc should be strictly avoided by diabetic patients.
Though included under sweet taste, substances like rice, wheat, barley, noney, green-gram etc when used at least one year old are an exception to rule and will not cause any harm.