Your brain called. It wants some sugar. STAT. It doesn’t have to taste sweet; in fact, it can be tasteless or horrid, but calories are what it’s craving.

Sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? But thanks to recent Yale University study, we now know that the brain looks at taste and calorie counts in very different ways. According to the lead scientist, “If the brain is given the choice between pleasant taste and no energy, or unpleasant taste and energy, the brain picks energy.” (Calories are measures of energy.)

Our “sweet tooth” is actually a survival mechanism, designed to keep our (big) brain fed and energized. We are “hard-wired to prioritize calorie seeking over taste or quality.” Which may be why we crave a sugary snack in the middle of the afternoon.

The authors of the study hope the findings will lead to new strategies aimed at curbing excess sugar consumption. But you already know what to do: listen to your body and give it what it needs: clean whole foods (including carbs), water and activities that support physical and emotional health.

The moral of the story? Choose your carbs carefully.