With Halloween approaching, kids start looking forward to candy. Most parents realize that too much processed sugar on a regular basis is not healthy. Diets high in processed sugars lead to obesity and increase the risk of insulin resistance, which in turn leads to type II diabetes. Too much sugar also affects mood and concentration. The surge in insulin after consuming sugar leads to a drop in blood sugar a few hours later. This leads to renewed hunger and reduced mental acuity (conversely, protein has the opposite effect, after consumption blood sugar levels are stabilized, countering the insulin-induced drop in blood sugar). Processed sugars also are bad for the skin- leading to thinner, more wrinkled skin. This happens because sugar molecules attach to the collagen and elastin molecules in the skin, damaging them.
What many people don’t realize, despite a growing amount of scientific evidence, is that artificial sweeteners are not much healthier, and may even be worse.
- Studies have found people actually gain weight when consuming diet sodas with artificial sweeteners on a daily basis.
- A 2012 study in Appetite found saccharin and aspartame led to increased weight gain compared to diets with sugar, even when the total calories consumed were equivalent.
- Other studies found regular consumption of artificial sweeteners led to insulin resistance and blood sugar anomalies.
Even stevia, which is an herbal plant from South America may have drawbacks. Green stevia is the least processed form, essentially dried leaves that have been ground up. The white, processed powder form commonly found in foods and diet drinks is a very different form of Stevia. White Stevia undergoes a 42 step process that includes extraction with chemical solvents such as acetonitrile (which is toxic to the liver as well as carcinogenic). To make matters worse, a GMO corn derivative erythritol is then added.
My recommendations are to limit processed sugars and ELIMINATE artificial sweeteners in your diet – THEY ARE BAD.
Specifically- drinking either regular or diet sodas on a daily basis is unhealthy for your body and mind.
Fortunately, I have never had a sweet tooth- I prefer savory… and mice are particularly savory.