Forget about the sugar…

by Khushboo on November 15, 2010

…add a spoonful of me Splenda?

My sweet tooth definitely dominates my taste buds.  Without fail, I have to conclude every meal with something sweet.  Especially when I first started losing weight, my answer to this was Splenda.  At 0 calories, it seemed like the perfect solution.  Alas, I sprinkled it on everything that needed sweetening i.e. my numerous cups of English breakfast, oats, yogurt…you name it, I added it.  I even used to carry it around in my handbag in case some places only offered Canderel/Sweet ‘N’ Low as their artificial sweetener option 😕 .  While Splenda is probably one of the ‘healthier ‘artificial sweeteners on the market, naturally it’s not a good choice at all.

I always knew artificial sweeteners weren’t the greatest but I was in a state of denial.  I liked being able to satisfy my sweet tooth without the unnecessary calories.  Talk about delusional :roll:.  Rather than help with weight loss, artificial sweeteners can actually have the opposite effect:

  • Artificial sweetners confuse the body.  When your body takes in something sweet, your metabolism “revs up” to start burning off the calories that should follow. But when the calories do NOT follow, as in the case of artificial sweeteners, your body gets confused. So the next time real sugar enters your system, your metabolic response just might not kick in like it should.
  • Artificial sweeteners infantilize our taste buds.  They are much sweeter than regular, table sugar and by consuming them, we are getting ourselves used to so much sweet.  As a result, it’s difficult for us to enjoy natural sweet foods such as fruit.  Desensitizing our taste buds also makes foods such as vegetables and grains appear bland.  By reducing our willingness to consume such foods, we are further compromising the quality of our diet. 
  • Long term effects of artificial sweeteners including headaches, dizziness, attention difficulties, memory loss, slurred speech and vision problems.

Artificial sweeteners don’t seem like such a sweet deal anymore, do they ;)?  Considering I still drink diet fizzy drinks regularly, I may come across as a major hypocrite.  But in my defence, you can’t change everything overnight and hopefully my consumption will gradually decrease.

Safer ways to add sweetness to your life include Agave nectar, Stevia, maple syrup, and honey.  These are all derived from natural sources, and are nutritional alternatives to artificial sweeteners and refined sugars.  While Agave is a staple in my house, I am making an effort to appreciate the taste of some foods/drinks for what they are.  After a week of eating natural yogurt without honey/Agave, I‘ve actually developed a taste for it.  The inclusion of fruit adds just the right amount of sweetness.  As for coffee, I had my first cup without Splenda today and it wasn’t the greatest but hopefully that’ll change by next week :)!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

karina November 15, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Give it up! Haven’t had for 9 months and makes a world of difference! X

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