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!