Tag Archives: artificial sweeteners

Spring at Last: Brings New Focus

We in the northeastern USA have gotten through a strange winter all predicted by climate change science a few years ago. But now, the snow is gone, and it is springtime. Like most creatures in springtime, I have the normal animal urges to get out, plant, be productive, and feel connected with the great cycle of the seasons. My beloved and I were both down with some version of cold-bronchitis-flu for most of a month, and that only increased my usual winter ennui. So just now feeling focused, wanting to do more, like reconnecting via this blog. I have been storing up a few possible posts to share, and hope to be more regular for a while.

Blogs are a bit like diets; there is an initial excitement and intensity, then you slowly move to a kind of burnout phase when your interest wanes. But what does not wane is my absolute belief that our people are being made ill, and dying of diseases, caused by sugars, starches, and most artificial sweeteners. Death by diet. Our big-agri business has co-opted the government and medical establishment into supporting a way of eating that is not only unhealthy and fattening, but ultimately dangerous. A look at the western diet prior to the 1950s and now is evidence enough; a look at the change in obesity and diabetes rates during that time is appalling. Take a look at the stats found at these sites, more than enough to be disturbing:

http://www.diabetesandenvironment.org/home/incidence

http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9043-1/index1.html

http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/PDFs/stat904z.pdf

http://authoritynutrition.com/11-graphs-that-show-what-is-wrong-with-modern-diet/

http://mpkb.org/_detail/home/pathogenesis/mortality.gif?id=home%3Apathogenesis%3Aepidemiology

I am not a person who buys into conspiracy theories (they take a level of cooperation almost impossible for any group of people), and I don’t believe what happened in our western food realm was an conspiracy, except the ultimate one ruled by money. The same issues were at play in the cigarette industry for decades; not until there was no denying the obvious fact that smoking was killing people in droves did anything finally get done to show the public that tobacco kills.

Here is a good interview with a soda representative that shows it is hard for an abuser to defend his/her abuse: https://youtu.be/g4nTuSKEJug

I have a couple new recipes to add to my recipe blog, so take a look there.

Yours in the burgeoning of spring,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

More on Why Artificial Sweeteners May Worsen Cravings

Here is the article:

http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/4104/20130923/why-eating-artificial-sweeteners-wont-help-lose-weight.htm

The brain knows when it needs sugar and can’t be fooled by artificial sweeteners, even if it is sweeter than real sugar.
A new study has found that the brain can differentiate between real and artificial sugar. What’s worse? Eating food with artificial sweeteners will only increase cravings for sugary treats later.
The brain’s reward system is highly activated when the body receives a sugary solution rather than artificial sweeteners. Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine USA, believe that the research might explain the reason behind increasing obesity rates despite artificial sweeteners existing for years now.
Food seasoned with artificial sweeteners is extremely popular. In the U.S., about 30 percent of people eat stuff that has sugar substitutes. Previously, Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, had published an article about artificial sweeteners’ effect on the body. Another recent study had found that drinking a can of diet soda can increase the risk of diabetes.
Researchers in the study argue that eating food containing artificial sweeteners, especially while you are hungry, will make you consume more sugar later.
In the study, researchers looked at specific brain signals that are associated with determining the difference between sugar and artificial sweeteners. These signals regulate the release of dopamine levels.
Dopamine is a chemical messenger and affects processes that control behavior, emotional response and more importantly the ability to feel pleasure. The chemical plays a major role in addiction.
The study was conducted on a group of mice and researchers looked for specific brain circuits while the mice were fed sugar or artificial sweeteners.
“According to the data, when we apply substances that interfere with a critical step of the ‘sugar-to-energy pathway’, the interest of the animals in consuming artificial sweetener decreases significantly, along with important reductions in brain dopamine levels,” said Ivan de Araujo, who led the study at Yale University School of Medicine USA.
“This is verified by the fact that when hungry mice – who thus have low sugar levels – are given a choice between artificial sweeteners and sugars, they are more likely to completely switch their preferences towards sugars even if the artificial sweetener is much sweeter than the sugar solution,” de Araujo said in a news release.
So, can there be a sugar substitute that can help people reduce weight without punishing the taste buds?
“The results suggest that a ‘happy medium’ could be a solution; combining sweeteners with minimal amounts of sugar so that energy metabolism doesn’t drop, while caloric intake is kept to a minimum,” Araujo said.

The study is published in the Journal of Physiology.

Get Fatter: More to Worry about Artificial Sweeteners

I learned for myself that artificial sweeteners play havoc with my hunger signals, making me strongly crave all the worst stuff. I have other posts that relate to studies on the powerful effect of artificial sweeteners–and now there is another.

We know that rat studies are used all the time to help researchers to find out if drugs, chemicals, etc., will be bad for people. While most of us are not rats, and the correlation between rat and human studies is not one to one, there are lots of clues in the rat studies that alert the scientists pay attention.

Dr Briffa offers the following on artificial sweeteners making rats eat more and gain weight faster that has made me sit up and take notice:

http://www.drbriffa.com/2012/12/21/artificial-sweeteners-found-to-boost-weight-gain-in-animals/

While it has been a challenge for me, the fact is we probably do best when we stay away from sweet taste as much as possible and curtail the need for sweet. I know, easier said than done, but as I’ve written before, after a year or eighteen months most people cease to crave sweets like they did before and go on to prefer a sweeter leaner life without the sweet food.

Two Negatives Equals a Positive

One of the hardest things for a person is to appreciate when something did not happen. We seem to be able to if we can see it, like if the car stops at the edge of pit, or something visible and dramatic like that, but is is hard to appreciate a situation wherein a course of action prevented a catastrophe. People may or may not appreciate how great the danger actually was, or be in denial that a disaster had actually been imminent. When it comes to health we have a similar conundrum.

Had I not gotten off sugars-starch-most artificial sweeteners,  I know I would have become a diabetic, the trajectory was there;  but, because I did make changes, I did not become diabetic. Also, that I didn’t become morbidly obese is another thing that did not happen, though I know it would have had I kept eating the standard American diet (called SAD for a reason).  I had seen all these things happen to my mother, so I knew that these two consequences were highly likely if I did not make changes.

Yet, despite avoiding the worst, I have been unhappy that my weight would not come down faster, which is the problem of insulin resistance–the body stores fat, but doesn’t release it for energy. I get discouraged, and forget how much worse everything could be, and that I should be happy that the two big negative things did not happen. We are not well equipped to look at life this way, though; so it takes writing in a journal, blogging, or other aids to memory and positive thinking.

Trial and error is a friend, so I’ve been trying different diets to get some movement downward on the weight-loss; after everything else, or so it seems, I’m on a ketogenic diet which gives me great energy, good sleep, and voila the pounds are again coming off.

Sugar/starch is the cause of a lot of suffering, and I hope that younger people, like my children and grandchildren, will see that they will have much more positive health with by leaving out these negative foods.

Yours in trying,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

Leptin: The Driver of the Hormone Engine

I have been in a continuous process of learning about weight loss since my weight first became a problem following a near-death experience from Toxic Shock Syndrome in the 1980s. This illness destroyed a lot of muscle mass, and I began to put on weight quickly. As I aged, and dieted relentlessly in the conventional wisdom (CW) mode, my weight just increased, and my cravings grew exponentially until I ultimately reached the point of having binges once or twice a month.  I has taken most of the last ten years in particular to get the information I really needed about the how the process of insulin controls weight gain or loss. Dr. Atkins was my first source of good information, but still not quite what I needed, though many people have done very well on the Atkins diet. Gary Taubes is my hero for really putting the science behind the process. And now Dr. Jack Kruse (www.jackkruse.com) and others researching in the field have given us the information about an even more important hormone, leptin, which turns out to be the main driver of this hormonal engine that leads us to gain and/or lose weight. (Kruse is a hot topic over at marksdailyapple.com)

I firmly believe that different things work for different people, and it is our job as individuals to figure out where we are on the sugar-artificial sweeteners-starch spectrum.  At this point in my life I am very insulin resistant, and in consequence very leptin resistant. I won’t bother to try to explain the processes, for Dr. Jack Kruse, Dr. Ron Rosedale, and others can do that far better, so check out their websites. But it made sense to me that I was struggling with leptin resistance, so decided to try Dr. Kruse’s dietary protocol: 50-70g of protein within 30 minutes of waking; less than 50g (I stay less than 25g) of daily carbs; mild or no exercise during the 6-8weeks of resetting the leptin sensitivity; and No snacking.  This last I thought would be hard since I had been a grazer in recent years, and had stopped breakfast in order to control my intake.

I am happy to report that over the last week plus, I have been faithful to this program and have been surprised at how much better I am feeling. My sleep has improved which has been my major challenge of the last ten years. And I feel an inner calm that is new for me; rather like that experienced in a good meditation session.

I believe with Seth Roberts (http://blog.sethroberts.net/) that self-experimentation is good, so I’m never afraid to give something a try if it seems to make sense. In this case, while I was skeptical, it seemed to have a ring of truth that encouraged me, and now I know I will stick with it for the eight weeks to see how things progress.

Leptin was only discovered in 1994, and that it is a hormone made by the fat cells was a huge surprise, and that it turned out to be perhaps the most important hormone in the diet cycle was even a greater surprise to the scientists studying these processes. No doubt there is more yet to discover, but at least we have this knowledge now, and can use it towards dealing with the major challenges of the obesity epidemic our nation now faces.

The analogy that came to mind is that struggling with cravings/weight is like having a wonderful car, say a powerful Mercedes, filled with fuel, a trip planned with all arrangements made, but there is no key. If you can’t get anywhere with your weight-loss or weight-gain, it may be the missing key you need is resetting your leptin sensitivity.

Ever learning,                                                                                                                    Sugarbaby