I cannot tell you how often I hear “I have a sweet tooth” or “I crave sugar all the time” or “I cannot stop eating sweets” or “I eat sweets when I am depressed” etc. Why do we have sweet tooth? Have you ever given that a thought? What does that mean? Does it mean anything? Indeed it does! So listen up!
I am starting with sugar substitutes and then move to sugar:
Are you eating sugar substitutes because you don’t want to gain weight, or because you have type 2 diabetes (T2D) and you crave sweets? Sugar substitutes can actually create T2D. Did you know that?
I read many books and articles on the subject of sugar being bad for you but most forget to explain 2 important things.
1) Insulin is released from the taste (smell, sight, and thought) of sweet and not sugar. Thus taking in sugar substitutes, because they are sweet, release insulin just like real sugar
2) Insulin resistance (same as T2D) develops from the insulin floating in your blood looking for sugar to deposit. Your body ignores insulin since because there is way too much to be put into the cells and they cannot handle it.
The job of insulin is to take the sugar in your food and deliver it to cells or convert it to fat, deposit it for later use in the body for energy. When the tongue tastes sweet, the body releases insulin immediately in search of finding the sugar and convert it for later use as energy. The problem is that since it doesn’t find any sugar if you eat naturals or sugar substitutes, sugar rash, excess insulin, as described above, kicks in plus you are hit with sugar cravings since your body thought it was getting sugar but it didn’t!
If you eat no carbs, no vegetables with carbs like potatoes, no fruits, your brain sees no sugar at all and it kicks in the sugar crave. If you eat/drink sugar substitutes, the more of those you eat, the more your craving for sugar will increase since your body is getting loads and loads of insulin that is takign the glucose from your blood, causing a sugar crash. So you need more glucose, which never comes!
This also kicks in the starvation mode by the brain so you will stop being active–it is not your choice; the brain is the control center here. The brain orders you to be resting because it has no sugar to keep your temperature constant, your heart beat constant, etc. The brain puts you into starvation mode, which reduces metabolic rate and that can lead to obesity. Smaller amount of foods will convert into energy in your body slower.
Now about the real sugar:
OK you say, I will now stop eating fake sugar and start eating the real one! But we have a problem. Table sugar is 50% fructose and 50% glucose. Fructose is found in fruits. Fructose is acceptable in small amounts for you as long as you eat it with fiber because it diverts it from the liver, where it is converted into ethanol (alcohol) and then triglycerides. causing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)–fructose is very unhealthy. Fiber is essential for the bacteria in your gut. If you are not eating fiber but drink fruit juice for example, the fructose just hits the liver full force, creating NAFLD. It is also problem for your gut since now there is no food for the bacteria (fiber) so they die off or the kind of bacteria that is not beneficial will increase, causing SIBO or candidas. So what do we now do? Definitely don’t eat probiotics (bacteria)!
You can eat good bacteria forever. If you don’t eat insoluble fiber, they will not survive. Insoluble fiber is the most difficult food to eat since they are hard and tough and are indigestible. Insoluble fiber is soft-bark and our digestive tract is not made to digest it. Another form of fiber is soluble fiber. Most fiber supplements are soluble fiber. They are “prebiotic” since they support bacterial growth though not fermentation, which is the most essential for us, humans.
So what kind of sugar should we eat? And is it something we should eat at all? There is no consensus on how much refined sugar or fructose without fiber (like fruit juice or peeled fruit) one can eat. Given that they end up in the liver as ethanol causing harm over your lifetime and build up (ethanol does not leave, most of it collects and stays there), my personal recommendation is NONE.
I too am addicted to sugar just like everyone else and am slowly cutting it out of my diet. But I dumped already all foods with added sugar. For any sweet cravings, I eat a piece of fruit with skin and high fiber–raspberries are great for that–or vegetables–carrots are great. I no longer eat processed food, no sweets of any kind, I don’t eat bread or crackers for the sweeteners they put into them. I drink no soft drinks at all, no alcohol at all (alcohol is fermented sugar!). I avoid anything added sugar like the plague. I go at least 10 feet distance away from any artificial sweeteners! I recommend you do the same!
Comments are welcome!