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Is there such a thing as a sweet tooth, and can I adjust it?

Photo: ISTOCKPHOTO

Yes, and you really can lick candy cravings. We've all heard that humans have an innate preference for sugary foods. However, research also suggests that some people are genetically more predisposed to craving sugar. Whatever the case may be for you, it's possible to "reset" your palate. Start slowly, using a strategy familiar to people who cut sodium to help control hypertension. Gradually reduce the amount of sugar you use—on your cereal, in your coffee—until your palate adjusts. Another tactic: Add naturally sweet foods like fruit to your morning oatmeal or cereal. Fruit contains fewer calories and adds vitamins and fiber.

BOTTOM LINE Regardless of your DNA, you can learn to use and eat less sugar.