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Sweet tooth is fading as I age?

I've always had a sweet tooth. I love good cookies, square, cakes, and pies. Dessert's always been the best part of the meal for me. But now, at 45, I find that goodies often taste too sweet for me. I'll eat one of my beloved squares and find it WAY too sweet. One or two pieces of chocolate and I've hit the wall. Used to be that I could eat the whole bar! Furthermore, I just don't seem to crave desserts as I used to.

So, for me, this is bittersweet (no pun intended). It's healthier to eat fewer desserts, yet I miss savouring a really great lemon square/hello dolly/brownie.

Just wondering if others have experienced anything similar. Is this a common side effect of aging, or is it just me?

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  1. Change in tastes is very common as we age. For some, the direction is towards more intense flavors and sensations (especially true due to declining ability to taste), while for others it's the opposite direction.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Karl S

      At 62, I find my taste changing in other ways: I want much less food, is the most dramatic change.

    2. That's a good thing. I remember eating such things as maple bars in my 20's (a long time ago) which seem disgusting to me today. Lots of things seem too sweet to me today. For example, my version of Libby's pumpkin pie uses half the sugar (and twice the cloves).

      1 Reply
      1. re: GH1618

        Well yes, I think overall it is a good thing. However, there's a disconnect between my palate and my brain right now, which can be confusing. i.e. I'm still conditioned to think sweets=fun, so I buy the cookie, but then my palate finds it too sweet. I have to learn new food associations.

      2. I've puzzled over this myself. In my mid 20s I stopped liking chocolate. Then my love of cake bit the dust, then doughnuts, then cookies. I don't even like ice cream any longer. I'm 32 now.

        1. Same here. When I was young and skinny, I frequently polished off huge desserts. Now that I'm....slightly older, and.....not as skinny, I can only tolerate a few bites of less-sweet desserts. Nature taking care of its own, I'd say.

          1. yes, yes . . . in my mid 50's now and still "love" sweets, but can't finish many things because they are to cloying and sweet for me now. A good thing for me I think.

            1. Oh I hope this happens (that it fades). Mine's been getting worse feels like. I'm 40.

              1. Yep, absolutely. I think once I gave up soda (I'd been drinking diet coke still), my sweet tooth has all but disappeared.

                I'll have dessert when I'm out for dinner, but I'm likely to share with my man, and a cheese plate sounds much more appealing these days.

                Occasionally, I'll pop open a Mexican coke to have with the already super-healthy meal of a cheeseburger '-), and I can't even finish those small bottles anymore b/c of their sweetness.

                1. The same thing is happening to me as well. I definitely don't enjoy sweets like I used to and cut the sugar in things by at least 1/2. I still eat them and still enjoy them to an extent, but I used to live for them. Now, I usually just feel disappointed, in that they don't taste nearly as good as I expected them to. I think that is partly due to the change in taste, and partly due to things just not being as good as they used to be objectively. A couple of examples that come to mind are Girl Scout cookies (the peanut butter ones especially) are made according to a completely different and inferior recipe now, and Snickerdoodles don't taste nearly as good as their counterparts of yesteryear which were made with Crisco.

                  1. Hello, and yes, I too now find it difficult to get enthusiastic about large portions of desserts that fornerly made me swoon (i.e., good blueberry pie, cheesecake, etc.). Whereas I've always loved fresh fruit for snacking, I now crave fresh fruit for dessert, almost exclusively. And the tarter the fruit, the better... I have found that frozen treats (whether popsicles or gelato) are still appetizing, as the frigid temperature really mutes the sweetness for me. Homemade granita is my go-to favorite now... Oddly, one area where sweetness appeals to me a bit more, is in otherwise savory dishes. I like a nice sweet chutney atop my burgers and crave peanut butter-based sauces with satays as much as always.

                    1. Up to about 25 I adored sweet things.
                      Now I'm almost twice that age I actively dislike just about anything sweet.

                      It's a shame I still adore fried food though.

                      1. Not in my case! Candy lover as a child, candy lover now.

                        1. My elderly mother lives with us. For as long as I can remember (I'm 50), Mum has not had much of a sweet tooth. Within the past 5 years or so, she has developed an insatiable sweet tooth. It's funny, really. She's always had very good teeth and at her last dental visit, actually had to have a cavity filled! Not to mention the small fortune we now spend on chocolate, pastries and Klondike bars....

                          1. Yes; when I was in my youth I wanted to order desert first, now in my early fifties I'm more likely to skip desert.

                            1. We were just talking about this over cuban food the other night. Sweet tooth def. declining and our spice cravings higher. Many of us bake sweet things but no longer enjoy eating them in any major way--more for tasting purposes...but, we found ourselves using black pepper like mad, coming up with reasons to use cumin and adding far more spice to our food generally speaking than we ever did. The other day I had a serious craving for sliced pickled ginger and I wound up eating the entire jar.

                              1. I have loved and craved sweets since my first piece of strudel. Forty years later those cravings remain unaltered (thankfully).

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: beevod

                                  I still like hard candies, but I would never order a dessert now, whereas as a kid, I would have gladly lived on junk food, desserts, sweet fruits, etc. Sometime in my early 20s, there was a dramatic shift away from sugar and toward spicy and pungent foods. Granted, I still liked sugar, but by the mid-30s, there was no desire to eat junk food unless it was salty. My husband's taken to eating a bite two of 88% dark chocolate. 98% of the time, I turn down his offer of a square or two.

                                  1. re: 1sweetpea

                                    I find it interesting that you can enjoy hard candy, but not dessert. Generally, the former is sweeter than the latter, to my mind.

                                    1. re: AverageJo

                                      Maybe it's just that the candy is one unit of sweetness, no matter how sweet it is. A dessert, though, is mouthful after mouthful of not just sweetness, but a richness that doesn't sit well with me afterward. Perhaps it's that dieter mentality left over from my teenage years, that one hard candy has X number of calories and no fat. it doesn't last long in the mouth or on the hips.

                                      Seriously, though. I used to long for desserts and chocolate bars and ice cream, but now, I never do. I get pangs for pho, sushi, spicy Thai, etc.

                                2. I think my sweet tooth has decreased a little and changed preferences. I never had a huge one, but pastries were a favorite.

                                  My first real job was clerking in the candy department of a department store. That burnt me out on chocolate for a good 20 years or so. Artisan dark chocolates began to appear about the time chocolate started appealing to me again and chocolate was a whole new world. Now I seldom crave pastries but I do enjoy a little chocolate a couple of times a week.

                                  1. 42 here.....and I'm definitely noticing a reduction in my desire for sweets. Don't care for ice cream & have no real desire for candy or chocolate. Made a bunch of sweets for gifts this year & didn't really eat any myself except to taste the quality before giving them.

                                    Will have a piece or two of SF hard candy to help with dry mouth - especially now the heat is on everywhere....