Wow, You Just Can’t Win

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So, the conventional wisdom is that your body is basically a big food battery and that it stores extra calories you eat in fat cells.  The only way to lose those fat cells are to eat less or exercise more.   And of course, you need to eat a low fat diet because fat is high in calories and the more calories you ingest, the more you store fat because you’re only burning so many calories, fella.  Especially if you run baby-step style.

And of course, you drink diet beverages and use artificial sweeteners because they have fewer calories.

But, what if I told you that this was all bull.  We’ve discovered the glycemic index is the key to fat retention and that fat isn’t bad.  Sure sure, everyone knows this now, amirite?

But now, diet drinks and artificial sweeteners are being shown to have a glycemic index!  Right, so now you can eat or drink something and have your blood insulin raised without there being any calories driving that raise in insulin.

Says here that:

researchers found that consuming the sucralose was associated with higher blood sugar peaks and 20 percent higher insulin levels compared with consuming the water, though they noted more studies are needed to determine the actual health effects of a 20 percent increase in insulin.

wow.  Of course, I think this science writer needs to have his brain checked because water should have a glycemic index of zero, so let’s see what the actual study said:

Seventeen obese subjects (BMI 42.3 ± 1.6 kg/m2) who did not use NNS and were insulin sensitive (based on a homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance score ≤2.6) underwent a 5-h modified oral glucose tolerance test on two separate occasions preceded by consuming either sucralose (experimental condition) or water (control condition) 10 min before the glucose load in a randomized crossover design.

Ok, first things first.  Obese people have very sensitive insulin responses.  This is bad science for you because the normals (i.e., not obese) don’t have an insane insulin response.

Next, the study measure the response to glucose ingestion after the splenda or water loading.  Ah, that makes sense.

Ok, what were the results?

sucralose ingestion caused 1) a greater incremental increase in peak plasma glucose concentrations (4.2 ± 0.2 vs. 4.8 ± 0.3 mmol/L; P = 0.03), 2) a 20 ± 8% greater incremental increase in insulin area under the curve (AUC) (P < 0.03), 3) a 22 ± 7% greater peak insulin secretion rate (P < 0.02), 4) a 7 ± 4% decrease in insulin clearance (P = 0.04), and 5) a 23 ± 20% decrease in SI (P = 0.01).

Oh right.  That.  I don’t know what those numbers mean, but 20 percent seems to be in there.  So, what they’re saying is if you ingest glucose, a carb with a glycemic index of … holy crap! 100!!!  So, if the numbers are right, and I doubt they are, then taking your glucose with splenda just turbocharged your insulin response to 120!!!!!

Something’s not adding up.  But here’s the thing, diet soda has also been linked to weight gain.  So, a failure of my imagination is not an argument.

Basically, it seems to be this: These diet drinks are tricking not only your tongue but also your liver.  Your body is reacting to it and dumping insulin into your blood causing whatever you eat with your diet drinks to be even more fattening…well, more fattening that just having water with your meal.  To wit:

One finding indicates that the gastrointestinal tract and the pancreas can detect sweet foods and drinks with receptors that are virtually identical to those in the mouth.

That causes an increased release of hormones, such as insulin.

Also, we can further mock the calories in-calories out human fat-battery theorists.  These diet goodies have less calories but make you fat.  How can that be?

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Oh right, they were wrong.

As for you, i guess it’s time to learn from the science.  Fake foods are not going to help you lose weight.  I find that hard to believe because I experienced some weight loss when I switched to diet.  But of course, i also started running regularly at that time.  Coincidence?  Oh right, I also had radically changed my diet overall.  And I was 22.  So, any number of things could be said to have contributed to that weightloss.

Basically you need to kill your sweet tooth so that some sweets go a long way and you aren’t dousing yourself with sugar to be satisfied.

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