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.