While I try and keep sweeteners to a minimum and I use xylitol. It just tastes better and is supposed to not spike your insulin. However I have read in various other health and nutrition blogs that it is bad and that anything sweet can create a Pavlovian response and cause or body to gear up for or perceive that we are eating sweets there by causing trouble?
I am trying to lean out so I watch the starch and sugar so no fruit and minimal yams and such. However I seemed to have plateaued and I am trying figure it out. Can anyone weigh in on for me?
My personal semi-scientific theory is that eating anything that tastes sweet is bad for you. Even if there are no sugars or calories, I think it messes with your system and has some of the same effects as a sugar spike, signaling your body to retain fat.
Seth Roberts has theorized that sweet tastes raise your "set point" (i.e. your body's self-determined ideal weight) due to "flavor/calorie association" (the basis of his diet theory). I don't really understand the underlying mechanism, but I totally agree with the conclusion.
This explains why people who guzzle diet coke often still remain stubbornly overweight, and why switching from foods sweetened with sugar to non-calorie chemicals doesn't help diets much at all. Virtually everything that is artificially flavored is flavored to be sweet, and I think this contributes to obesity, because it is the sweetness as much as the sugar/calories. Virtually every processed American food is sweetened, including soups, yogurt, cheese, and even vitamins.
The sweetest thing that our Paleo ancestors ever ate was probably fruit, and it was probably nowhere near as sweet as the fruit we get today, and definitely way less sweet than diet soda or gum. Almost all of the fruit that you buy at the supermarket is way sweeter than anything that grew naturally 100 years ago, same for juices. I think that eating anything sweet triggers bad reactions in the body similar to the other things that we try to eliminate with a Paleo diet.
Having totally given up sugar and anything sweetened, I find sweetness in other foods now, like the fat around meat is sweet, and is way better for me...
Erik, good for you for working on avoiding the sweeteners.
If you haven't had a chance to read Dr. Kurt Harris' blog, you are in for a treat.
Here is Dr. Harris' "Get Started" page.
And here is his brilliant post, "Smoking Candy Cigarettes".
If you would like some more inspiration to kick the habit of the taste of sweet, then a bit of Dr. Russell Blaylock, on Excitoxins and artificial sweeteners, ought to cure anyone.
And at Pubmed, you can read of how xylitol stimulates insulin secretion. I don't have a link handy for the reports. There are several. A simple search on artificial sweeteners and insulin will bring them up. Xylitol does trigger an insulin response.
And the taste of sweet, or even thinking about sweets can stimulate insulin secretion. It is called Cephalic Phase Insulin Response. Pubmed searches will give you much good reading.
Hope this helps. :)
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