The people behind the food industry have convinced themselves they’ve got your best interests at heart, all while doing what they need to do for themselves. Keeping their costs low and making bigger profits. It’s not that everything is suddenly bad for you.
So, for this post, we are going to take a look at their response to one of the country’s biggest epidemic problem- America’s addiction to sugar.
Sugar addiction is a huge problem in this country. Many sectors of the food industry have been trying to help reduce our sugar consumption but the problem is, they’ve come up with the wrong solutions.
For example, they’ve replaced natural and processed sugar with synthetic products. Because clearly sugar is the villain, they’ve created a chemical substitute, like sucralose, aspartame and saccharin.
Problem solved, right? You’re sweetening your coffee and teas with zero-calorie aspartame. You’re no longer consuming sugar. Food developers have left out a major part and that is your body doesn’t know it’s not ingesting sugar!
So, technically they have created another villain. Turns out, synthetic solutions to sugar also alter your gut microbiome. They kill off your good gut bugs and allow the potential growth of bad ones.
How Do Artificial Sweeteners Alter Your Gut?
Well, for starters, once your bad gut bugs take over, you gain weight. This actually happens quit quickly. The strange thing is, products such as Splenda and Sweet’N Low should help you lose weight-but, they do just the opposite.
Why this occurs: Back in ancient time, sweeter flavors used to only be available during summer months, such as sweet ripe fruits. Tasting sweeter flavors sent your brain a signal- time to start storing fat for the winter months ahead. In today’s world, you can find sweet treats and foods any time of the year. So, in turn, your body thinks you live in an endless summer and starts storing up for winter whenever you eat that peach, berries, or drink diet coke.
But, nobody ever told your body to turn off it’s craving for sugar.
Fun Fact: your sweetness taste buds makes up 2/3 of the surface of your tongue. So, it’s not your fault that you crave sweet foods, you were designed to. If high-caloric fruits and honey were available back in the day, all year round, our ancient ancestors would have eaten them.
What Happens in Your Brain When You Consume Sugar?
When a sugary substance attaches to your tongue, your receptors taste sweetness. They tell the pleasure receptors in your brain’s reward center to get more of this amazing food. Why? Because you’ll need it to survive when the season changes, and there isn’t any food around. Make sense?
So now, here’s the problem with artificial sweeteners…
Your Body Doesn’t Know the Sweetness It’s Tasting Isn’t Actually Sugar!
Again, it’s not your fault. The molecular structure of the calorie-free sweeteners actually mimics sugar. They are designed to send the same pleasure signal to your brain the way that real sugar does.
But, when the calories from real sugar don’t make it to your bloodstream because you never consumed glucose to begin with, your brain feels cheated. Your brain thinks that you’re eating sugar, because it tasted sugar.
Your brain becomes angry that the sugar your promised never arrived. So, what does your brain tell you to do? It tells you to go back and get more sugar. So, what do you do? You go to your pantry, or fridge to get more sugar.
Many are addicted to diet coke and sodas for this exact reason. Research proves that instead of helping you to lose weight, nonnutritive sweeteners actually cause you to put more on instead.
When you keep ingesting artificial sweeteners, you do your body a huge disservice. This repeated exposure trains your flavor preference. In turn, the more sweets you eat, the more your body will want to repeat the sweet exposure over and over again. “Un-sweeting” your diet may be key to reversing the obesity epidemic.
Ditch These Sweets
As a general rule, do your best to ditch the following sweeteners.
- Saccharin- Sweet’N Low, Sweet Twin, and Necta Sweet
- Aspartame- Equal and NutraSweet
- Acesulfame K- Equal and NutraSweet
- Sucralose- Splenda
Also, sports drinks and diet sodas are your enemy. This also goes for any health or protein bar that contains the sweeteners listed above.
Remember, sugar comes in more than just one form. So, If you see corn syrup, agave syrup, or pure cane syrup listed on a label- ditch them.
Only on occasion, you can use Stevia to sweeten your drinks and meals or look for things like xylitol, monkfruit, yacon, or erythritol.