Are You Always Craving Sweets? Sugar Substitutes & the BIG Secret!

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 diabetes II but want to eat sweets because you crave them? If diabetes II is not genetic, sugar substitutes can actually create it. 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 of sweet and not sugar. Thus taking in sugar substitutes, because they are sweet, release insulin just like real sugar

2) Insulin resistance develops from the insulin floating in your blood looking for sugar to deposit. Not finding any, it is a cry wolf effect, which leads to insulin resistance. Your body ignores it since insulin always yells sugar when there is none.

The job of insulin is to take the sugar in your food and 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, both insulin resistance kicks in, as described above, plus you are hit with additional sugar cravings since your body needs sugar!

Except is needs it from the converted energy it already has but it has none since insulin did not deposit any.

If you eat no carbs, no vegetables with carbs like potatoes, no fruits with fiber on (the fiber is important and I explain why later), 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 doing nothing but is waiting for the sugar to arrive, which never does!

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 then leads to obesity.

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 partly made of fructose and partly of glucose. Fructose is what you find in fruits. Fructose is good for you until you eat it with fiber because it diverts it from the liver as a sudden dump and going through your digestion, the fiber is essential for the good bacteria in your gut. If you are not eating fiber but drink fruit juice for example, the fructose just hits the liver full force. It is also problem for your gut since now there is no food for the bacteria (fiber) in there so they die. So what do we now do? Eat probiotic pills filled with good bacteria that come in on our top end and out the bottom without living a moment.. that is why they tell you to eat it every day! But that is completely useless since they are not getting the food to eat so out they go as they came in!

If you have the good bacteria in the gut, no need to eat more since they already are there and rest assure, bacteria are really good at multiplying! You only need to eat them if you don’t have them… but if you don’t have them, that means you have not given them food to survive: fiber. You can eat good bacteria until the cows come home. 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. Most fiber supplements are soluble fiber. They do no good for the bacteria so you are wasting your money!

So you eat table sugar to switch from fake sugar and try to reduce your insulin. But like I noted before, fructose without fiber is bad for you; it hits the liver full force. Here it actually converts to ethanol–the stuff you put into your car to increase mileage and reduce pollution (the first link is to a video and the other to a book). It becomes alcohol in your liver and never converts to sugar. So what does your body do? Craves more sugar since you had insulin released for the sweets, it found some in the form of glucose it can deposit for future energy but it does not see fructose. Fructose stays in the liver as alcohol, causing what is called the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which many Americans have. This drives obesity and diabetes II further.

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 still eat a tad of molasses, the brownest possible sugar, since 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 cereal I use only no sugar added oats–I actually eat them raw with milk and fresh fruit like they do in Europe to get most fiber out and I salt it since oat is quite saltless! 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 rarely 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!

Angela

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About Angela A Stanton, Ph.D.

Angela A Stanton, PhD, is a Neuroeconomist focusing on chronic pain, electrolyte homeostasis, and genetics. She lives in Southern California. Her current research is focused on migraine cause, prevention and treatment without the use of medicines. As a forever migraineur from childhood, her discovery was helped by experimenting on herself. She found the cause of migraine to be at the ionic level, associated with disruption of the electrolyte homeostasis, resulting from genetic variations of all voltage gated channels that modulate electrolytes and voltage in the brain, insulin and glucose transporters, and several other related variants, such as the MTHFR variants of the B vitamin methylation process and many others. Migraineurs are glucose sensitive and should avoid eating carbs as much as possible. As a result of the success of the first edition of her book and new research and findings after treating over 4000 migraineurs world wide, all ages and both genders, she is now finishing the 2nd edition. The 2nd edition is the “holy grail” of migraines, incorporating all there is to know and also hypotheses. It includes an academic research section with suggestions for further research. The book is full of citations to authenticate the statements she makes to be followed up by those interested and to spark further research interest. It is a "Complete Guide". Due out in the summer of 2017. Dr. Stanton received her BSc at UCLA in Mathematics, MBA at UCR, MS in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, PhD in NeuroEconomics at Claremont Graduate University, and fMRI certification at Harvard University Medical School at the Martinos Center for Neuroimaging for experimenting with neurotransmitters on human volunteers. For relaxation Dr. Stanton paints and photographs. Follow her on Twitter at: @MigraineBook
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6 Responses to Are You Always Craving Sweets? Sugar Substitutes & the BIG Secret!

  1. Actually another thought on this: there are countries where diabetes is rampant, like India by example. They love sweets, yes, but the main course is rice. Rice turns into sugar immediately upon absorption, does not it? Could we say, rice in large quantities and on a daily basis is almost as harmful as sugar? Any insights on this?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! Very much so! Anything that converts to sugar immediately in big quantities is a problem but it matters what you eat it with. The Chinese and Japanese do not have so much problem with diabetes and they too eat lots of rice but they eat a lot of meat and vegetables with fiber. Meat is essential with its high protein content to offset the “sugar crash” caused by simple carb foods, such as rice. Both the Chinese and the Japanese (and Thai, so forth) eat lots of meat with their rice but the Indian don’t.

      Another thing Dominique, I have never been to India but I have a friend who is Indian and she and husband invited me over to lunch one day (this was in Northern CA and we went to school together) and every single meal served had sugar in it. I don’t know if this is typical for Indian food in general or if it was just this one household but if the Indian diet calls for lots of sweets in addition to eating white rice (brown is better they say but in China for example, arsenic is higher in brown rice than white… you can never be right!) that is double trouble. Hope this helps!

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  2. Angela, I have never had a sweet tooth, more like a “cheese tooth”, but about ten years ago, I completely switched to stivia extract and only used it only in my morning tea cup. I had no sugar of any kind, or honey, or maple syrup etc… or juice. I did this strictly for 6 months, on and off for another 5 years or so, meaning, I might grab one tea spoon of some sweet, here and there on special occasions. But never was attracted to sugar much. Now it is a habit, but stivia is starting to taste distasteful to me, now. I have decreased it. Even juices taste too sweet. I noticed improvements in my overall health, from this attitude. But i am almost worried now that sugar in any form seems to repel me. Any thoughts on that? Is stivia actually harmful in the long term?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Dominique! Nice seeing you on my blog! Here is what I see wrong with your switch: Stevia is a sugar substitute–not sure you knew that. It is made of a plant leaf and crystallized in concentration to make it sweeter than what it is in nature. It is not only artificial sugar but fructose like substance concentrated to be really harmful. So yes, the short answer is that Stevia is harmful for any length of time.

      You do not need to eat any sugar at all! Your body is made to create sugar from the food you eat. You need to make sure you eat some carbs so that the body can easily convert some sugar but even the steak dinner you eat becomes sugar in your body. The best thing about insulin is that when used right (meaning no sugar is given) it is released only to convert the carb part into fat and then to sugar. Even meat has some natural sugar in it (like milk has lactose) that your body can convert to energy it needs. You can go without any sugar at all and do just fine!!

      Hugs,
      Angela

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