One of the biggest misconceptions in the health world today is that of ‘diet’ foods. Everywhere you look, there is yet another ‘diet’ something – diet soda, low-fat chips and more.
Like last time we discussed the importance of dietary fat and how important this is to our digestion and the absorption of vitamins and hormonal balance, you may remember low fat means low saturation and an unsatisfied mind.
While most people believe that diet foods are good for us, the truth is much different than we imagine. Let me bust the myth about diet foods once and for all.
The Misconception With ‘Diet’ Foods
‘Diet’ foods are said to be beneficial to our health and weight loss efforts, but few people consider what makes these foods ‘diet’ in the first place.
Take, for example, apples. Hardly anyone can argue about their benefits. Apples are satiating, low in calories, jam-packed with nutrients, and, most importantly, come from nature. Now, take, for example, a typical ‘diet’ food that appears healthy – diet soda
How ‘Diet’ Is Diet Soda, Truly?
Over the last couple of decades, we’ve been slowly conditioned to believe that if a given food or beverage is labeled as ‘diet,’ then it’s all good.
The problem with this line of thinking is that, for manufacturers to make diet soda tasty and alluring, they have to fill it with all kinds of chemicals, including artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame.
And the problem is that the brain can’t tell the difference between artificial sugars and natural sugars, so whenever it detects the taste of sweet it triggers the pancreas to secrete insulin in order to ‘regulate’ the blood sugar level. That’s obviously not a problem if the ‘sweets’ ingested are actually really sugars, because the insulin will ‘consume’ them and the blood sugar levels soon go back to normal.
But, if there wasn’t any real ‘sugar’ to begin with, the insulin produced actually causes a hypo-glycemia (blood sugar level below the norm), causing your appetite to increase. This in turn makes us over-consume calories, possibly leading to weight gain and different health implications such as insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes.
Remember the story about the microbiome and how you slowly program your body’s preferences? Well the more you eat or drink of these ‘diet’ products, the more your body will crave them.
Researchers also speculate that because sweeteners have such a substantial effect on the brain, people who routinely consume them, might start finding healthy and natural foods such as fruits and vegetables tasteless. These people would instead go for hyper-palatable foods such as burgers, chips, cookies, ice cream, candy bars, and many other examples that lead to a much stronger dopamine response.
The Bottom Line
So, where do we stand? Well, the short- and long-term indirect effects of sweeteners aren’t favorable. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to adopt a healthier diet, limiting the overall intake of sugars and alcohol -big sugar source by the way-
And if you DO indulge in sweets, make sure they at least contain NATURAL REAL sugars instead of artificial sweeteners. I’m glad my kids really love to drink water and my own home-made ice-tea, but if they do occasionally enjoy a soda, I tell them to at least drink the REAL, original coke instead of the zero stuff.
Research has shown that improving our diet can prevent and even reverse conditions such as type 2 diabetes. If you want to learn more about that, as well as overall health and longevity, I can highly recommend reading the book ‘The Food Hourglass’ by Kris Verburgh, MD.
Stay tuned next time when I reveal an article about something we rather not talk about… But it is vital to our overall health, metabolism and weight management…
In loving sincerity,
Valerie – aka Miss Vitality
PS – Did you read my latest book: ‘The Seven Metabolic Secrets’? I’m giving away FREE e-copies as long as it’s still in pre-publication. As soon as it’s officially published, it will sell for €29,- CLICK HERE to get FREE access immediately.