Humans are born preferring sweet tasting foods and drinks. That’s one of the reasons sugar is added to so many processed foods. Can this preference be altered by adhering to a reduced sugar diet? A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests short-term perceptions of sweetness won’t change long-term behaviors.

Researchers recruited healthy adults who consumed at least two sugar-sweetened beverages a day and put some on a diet that replaced 40% of their daily sugar consumption with proteins, fats and complex carbohydrates. After 3 months, they rated vanilla pudding and a raspberry beverage sweeter tasting than subjects who didn’t restrict sugar consumption. But their sweetness level preference remained the same.

True Strength Moment: These subjects who reduced their intake of sugar quickly returned to consuming their normal intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and foods. So, like adhering to a weight loss diet, you have to stick with the program if you want to see long-term results.