Funny you should mention that...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A friend told me yesterday that she is addicted to Diet Coke... and she meant it.

It was funny that she mentioned that because I had been thinking about sweeteners vs. sugar and the 'addictive' nature of both of these substances. There are so many forms of sugar that we don't pay attention to - it seems like it's everywhere! I was shocked to learn that it is even in many spices, and almost every single condiment, canned or prepared food (along with some form of starch/flour). Why is this? Is it because it makes everything taste better? Is it because we have all just become so accustomed to sugar that we crave it and only think that things taste good only if they are sweet, and so only buy things that 'taste good' thus perpetuating the cycle?

I did some research online about sweeteners and their effect on our hormones (insulin production/neural hormones) and learned that for some reason sweeteners cause nearly the same effect on our bodies as sugars do. In fact, most sweeteners taste 500+ times sweeter than sugar. They do a real number on our brains.....

Hmmmm, what does that mean? I think it means that when I thought I was doing great by not eating sugar but was loading on the sweeteners, I was actually conditioning my taste buds and my body to need sweeter and sweeter foods to be satisfied. I've been so proud of my lack of sugar usage, but have continued to put on the weight. I'm beginning to understand why.

Several weeks ago I quit using any kind of sugar or sweetener in anything. I had a rotten couple of days - headaches, crabbiness, soooo tired. But after a few days, my head cleared, my body felt so much better, so many aches and pains went away.

The other day I tried to drink a Diet Coke - it tasted like syrup to me. It was so weird. It did not taste good at all! Wow!

So... the moral of the story for me is... sweeter does not equal better. The proof is in the way I feel, the 12 lb weight loss, the energy I have. Addicted to Diet Coke? Yep, I guess that is not as strange as it originally sounded. I hope my friend decides to give a no or low-sweetness diet a try.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks for posting this. I'm switching from Diet Coke to plain iced tea!
    2853 days ago
    Amen on the sweeteners! They are everywhere! I just joined and made one of my first goals to stop drinking soda--including diet soda. The artificial sweeteners are just a different set of issues. I am drinking iced green tea with stevia (an almost no-cal sweetener made from a plant--not a laboratory). I need to lose a lot of weight and this is just a first step. Any encouragement would be great!
    2853 days ago
    Eating healthier has made me have less of a sweet tooth and makes me very sensitive to sweets , a little goes a long way, I do not like what the research shows about artificail sweeteners and developing brian tissue. If it isnt good for babies it probably isnt so great for anyone. Keep being an informed comsumer, and thanks for sharing. emoticon
    2857 days ago
    Exactly! If I crave something sweet, I try to use a real sugar. But not too much. I've found that too much makes my arthritis worse. If I have a candy bar, even if I'm well within my weight-loss calorie range for the day, the next day my fingers are very stiff.

    About 20 years ago, a naturopath I was working with put me on a no sugar, no corn-syrup diet. I was allowed the occasional diet drink, but without the other sugars in my life, I began to find them way too sweet. When a group I was in used to go to a local pizza place every Friday night, I would order a diet coke, a glass of water, and an empty glass. I had to cut the Coke about 50/50 with the water to be able to drink it. (I moved, and was back visiting a year later, we went to the same place, and before we had a chance to order, I had the same three glasses in front of me. I guess it was a pretty memorable order!)

    It's a hard diet to keep up, since food manufacturer sneak sugar or corn syrup into virtually everything, though things are better now than they were then. But it's worth it.
    2857 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/26/2010 3:26:47 PM
    Wow! Kudos on the low/no sugar diet. That's impressive work, and congrats on the loss so far!
    2857 days ago
    I don't eat any artificial sweeteners but I do eat a fare amount of sweet stuff. I want to start to wean myself off daily desserts but it seems so hard...good for you!!
    2857 days ago
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