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Downsides of a Sweet Tooth

By Marcus | In Nutrition | on June 5, 2013

In trying to improve your nutrition, we advise following the Good Food Standards as described in the book It Starts With Food. The standards flunk sweeteners, including those of the artificial variety. To help you apply these standards to any food, I’ll illustrate how sweeteners violate all four standards.

Does it promote a healthy psychological response? Your body is geared to crave items that are salty (electrolytes and help with water retention), fatty (dense source of energy) and sweet (quick source of energy). This is why something like salted caramel ice cream can be a triple-whammy to try to avoid. Because your body craves these three types of tastes, it’s not a good idea to regularly inundate your system with sweets. The more you eat, the more you’ll crave and the more desensitized your taste buds will become. In this downward spiral, you will need more sweet taste to get your fix. This is obviously not a healthy psychological response in any way, and it doesn’t matter whether the sugar is real or artificial. Bear in mind that artificial sweeteners are several hundred times more intense than natural sweeteners, so the effect is intensified! FAIL

Does it promote a healthy hormonal response? Overconsumption of sugar leads to chronically high blood sugar levels and makes your body prefer to burn carbohydrates as your fuel source. Any extra carbs in your system get turned into triglycerides. When you take triglycerides plus the elevated blood sugar, you get leptin resistance. You’re also not going to be burning fat for fuel, which can lead to greater fat storage. Since you have become leptin resistant, you don’t get the signal that you are full and will often eat more than you should. All this havoc wreaked on your system will lead to higher cortisol levels and those lead to stress-related cravings for… sweet foods. Does this sound like a good condition? FAIL

Does it support a healthy gut? Sugar throws off the balance of bacteria in our gut. The unfriendly varieties thrive on refined sugars and increased consumption can cause them to flourish while the beneficial bacteria are reduced. Even artificial sweeteners can cause problems by killing off the “good” bacteria. FAIL

Does it support immune function and minimize inflammation? The overconsumption previously discussed can promote inflammation by leptin and insulin resistance. Also, as your gut balance is thrown off kilter, you create an inflammatory condition in your intestines. FAIL

These downsides apply to any type of sugar — even the supposedly “paleo” ones like honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar. Do yourself a favor and keep the sweets to a very occasional treat, and not a regular occurrence. Be vigilant and monitor the ingredients on condiments and spices, as sugar can creep its way in through various forms.

Additional reading:

Sugar=Sugar=Sugar by Whole 9

Know Your Sugars one of my previous posts

A Sugar by Any Other Name… another of my previous posts

WOD 06.05.13

Deadlift 1×5 or Wendler 5/3/1

Then, for time:
10, 9, 8…1

  • Toes to Bar
  • Kettlebell Swings

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