Sweet tooth: a liking, fondness, or of craving sweet foods

Published 8:00 pm Thursday, March 20, 2014

Merriam-Webster’s definition of sweet tooth reads … “a liking, fondness, or of craving sweet foods.”
As you’ve learned from me before, you can’t burn body fat if sugar is in your blood stream, so we should all try to curb our sweet tooth, or if possible try to avoid having it at all together.
One principle to remember for a lifetime is that the body can’t tell the difference between what it chooses to do, or what it has to do. This means when we choose to eat sweets, our bodies say “Hey, sugar must available, so it’s ok to crave it.” Remember, no one is actually born with a sweet tooth, but rather they create it.
When we were younger, and were good, what was our usual reward? Cookies, candy, cake, ice cream, and the sort.
In just a short period of time we developed our sweet tooth. Ever use artificial sweeteners? You may be asking yourself, “How could artificial sweeteners make me crave sweets”? Artificial sweeteners are by their very nature, several times sweeter than sugar.
Here’s a list of a few artificial sweeteners, and just how much sweeter they are than regular sugars.

Saccharin(brand name: Sweet n low, Sweet thin, Necta sweet, Equal) 200-700 times sweeter than sugar.
Aspartame (brand name: Nutrasweet) 200 times sweeter than sugar.
Acesulfame (brand name: Sunett, Sweetone) 200 times sweeter than sugar.
Sucralose (brand name: (Splenda) 600 times sweeter than sugar.
Neotame (no brand name) 7,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar.
Our body has two areas it can detect sweetness. Our mouths and our brain. Here’s the problem. When we eat an artificial sweetener, our mouths feels “Man this is sweet,” but our brain says, “No, it’s not, this isn’t sugar,” so our brain isn’t satisfied. In other words, our brain feels “all dressed up, with no place to go.” That makes our brain crave sugar even more.
So what’s the solution? One of the things I recommend my clients do is wean themselves off “simple” sugars (monosaccharides) slowly. You should remember that any drastic change,[even ones that are good for the body], the body will fight.
First substitute fruit for other simple sugars like cakes, candy, and pastries. Both contain fructose and glucose (monosaccharides), but fruit, in addition to its vitamins and minerals, contains higher levels of fructose, which breaks down in the liver, and does not provoke an insulin response.
Glucose breaks down in the stomach, and requires insulin to be metabolized completely. Also, fruit usually tastes less sweet that other sugary treats, so it helps reduce sugar cravings. Try to introduce more complex sugars (carbohydrates) into your diet. These could be foods like whole grains, rice, breads, potatoes (with their skin), and pastas. Careful though.
Even though we cannot live without sugars, or “carbs”, as they are often called, having too much of them each day, or too many times a day can cause a variety of health problems.
Too much sugar in our diets can cause diabetes, obesity, even hypoglycemia. Consuming too much sugar may also have a very strong link to development of cancers and heart disease.
With regard to artificial sweeteners, we have just covered one aspect of them. These can potentially cause problems other than just a “sweet tooth”. There have been reports of high cholesterol, headache (including migraine), dizziness, nausea, and anxiety, depression, seizures, memory loss insomnia, and changes in vision.
The key to a healthy diet is moderation and balance. Eat “clean”, which means mostly vegetables and fruits, high quality protein from fish, eggs, turkey, and chicken, low salt and sugar, plenty of water, and take your supplements.
We’re only a couple of weeks away from my free fitness/nutrition seminar on Thursday April third, 6 p.m. at the Depot, off Trade Street in downtown Landrum.
In this seminar workshop we’re going to learn how to make our metabolisms work for us, how to exercise properly, get stronger, choose the right foods, secrets of fat loss, how to strengthen bones, and so much more. Seats are going fast, so reserve yours by calling 864-457-3369.

Diet or exercise question? Email me at dwcrocker77@gmail.com or visit fitness4yourlife.org.

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David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and master personal trainer for 27 years. He served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A., head strength coach for the USC-Spartanburg baseball team, S.C. state champion girls gymnastic team, and the Converse college equestrian team. He served as a water safety consultant to the United States Marine Corps., lead trainer to L.H. Fields modeling agency,  and taught four semesters at USC-Union. David was also a regular guest of the Pam Stone radio show.