One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident


How do you satisfy your sweet tooth?

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My Mom sent me this article about sugar and I needed to share.

I always try to avoid white sugar and I recently reduced my intake of “fake” sugar as well. Awhile back I posed the sweetener question on GreenLiteBites and got some interesting answers that I think I’ll ask it again…

How do you satisfy your sweet tooth?

The Sweet Sabotage

Can’t Lose Weight No Matter how Hard You Try?

By Shane Ellison

The majority of nutritional supplements, sports bars, thirst quenchers and other foods masquerading as being healthy have been poisoned. Hyped as non-caloric or low-fat ingredients, sweet additives are infiltrating our food supply and at the same time sabotaging our health. Few “health nuts” are aware of the toxic threat or the safe alternatives.

Have you ever been plagued by hard-to-diagnose health problems? You know something is wrong, but your doctor can’t seem to figure out what’s causing them? You 1) Can’t lose weight, no matter how hard you try; 2) feel depressed; 3) can’ sleep; 4) feel sluggish; 5) lack mental focus; 6) have lost your libido.

Well, it’s not all in your head. It’s sweets. Today, the majority of sports supplements or foods are adulterated with some type of sweetener. The reasoning is simple: Sweet flavors increase sales.

When consumed, sweets elicit a chemical cascade of events that lead to the triggering of feel-good receptors within our brains. If this happens repeatedly, an emotional bond between happiness and sweets is formed. You become addicted, which guarantees a buying habit. In a study comparing the addictive properties of sweeteners, sucrose (table sugar) and saccharin proved more addictive than cocaine! Leveraging this biochemical addiction, health food manufacturers are bankrolling. Your health is being sacrificed.

Why is Sugar Bad?

Sucrose (a disaccharide of glucose and fructose), otherwise known as table sugar, is one of the most popular adulterants. Not as natural as people think, it’s typically extracted from sugar cane and then purified by crystallization for use. Years ago, people didn’t eat much – as little as 10-15 pounds per year. And their health was much better for it. Today, the average yearly per-person consumption of sucrose is a whopping 160 pounds! The irony is that your body doesn’t actually need any sugar whatsoever. What it does need is glucose for energy. And you can obtain it safely from fruits and vegetables.

When consumed, sugar guarantees entrance into The Fat Cow Hall-of-Fame, courtesy of its ability to spike our fat-storing hormone insulin and triglycerides. It also disrupts satiety (causing users to overeat), and gives rise to age-accelerating molecules known as AGE (advanced glycation end) products. These aging molecules are responsible for causing unsightly wrinkling and age-related blindness.

Over time, excess sugar consumption prevents our body from producing various anti-aging hormones such as IGF, HGH, and testosterone. If consumption continues, it leads to a host of dreaded diseases like insulin resistance, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Suicide in slow motion, sugar addiction can eliminate 11-20 years from a person’s lifespan.

The realization that sugar kills has given rise to a dizzying array of artificial sweeteners. Designed to curb the sucrose threat, while allowing us to still get our “sweet fix,” saccharin, aspartame and sucralose are among the most popular.

Studies on artificial sweeteners show that they lead to weight gain and even pre-diabetes. Scientists writing for Behavioral Neuroscience and The American Heart Association’s journal Circulation, discovered that fake sugar molecules disarm our body’s defense against obesity – calorie counting. The studies showed that “mouth feel” plays a crucial role in the body’s ability to sense the number of calories that are being consumed – and that artificial sweeteners disrupt the natural calorie calculator. This puts users at much higher risk for being obese and insulin resistant due to subsequent binge eating that occurs from eating artificial sweeteners.

U.S. regulatory agencies insist that artificial sweeteners are safe – just like they insisted that “hypoglycemic drugs” for type II diabetics were safe. Yet, diabetic users increase their risk of heart attack by a ghastly 30-40 percent, courtesy of these “safe” and “effective” medications. Could history be repeated with drugs moonlighting as artificial sweeteners?

Saccharin and Sucralose Scourge

Discovered to be 300 times sweeter than sugar, saccharin (chemically known as 1,1-Dioxo-1, 2-benzothiazol- 3-one) was the first drug used as a sweetener. As early as 1911, a board of federal scientists warned against its use in food by insisting that it was “an adulterant.” The biggest fear was cancer. Early studies showed bladder cancer among mice. This was later proven not to translate into humans due to stark bladder differences. However, skin and lung cancer in mice have begun to surface. Studies have not been able to confirm definitively if these threats translate into human risk.

The U.S. government’s National Toxicology Program lists saccharin as an “anticipated carcinogen.” Given its wild-card cancer status, saccharin is hardly a safe alternative to sugar. Yet, it remains a common food and supplement additive.

Discovered to be 600 times sweeter than sugar, the drug sucralose originated as an insecticide. The molecule contains a historically deadly “organochlorine,” or simply: a Really Nasty Form of Chlorine (RNFOC).

When used, the RNFOC yields such poisons as insecticides, pesticides, and herbicides. An RNFOC can invade every nook and cranny of the body. Cell walls and DNA – the genetic map of human life – become potential casualties of war. This may result in weakened immune function, irregular heartbeat, agitation, shortness of breath, skin rashes, headaches, liver and kidney damage, berth defects and cancer.

Hiding its origin, sucralose pushers assert that it is “made from sugar.” Sucralose is as close to sugar as glass cleaner is to purified water. France has recently band such false advertising statements. The deceit has been ignored within the U.S. Sucralose is the most widely used artificial sweetener today.

What About Maltitol and High Fructose Corn Syrup?

Natural alternatives to sugar and artificial sweeteners are hyped as being safe, simply because they fall under the umbrella of being natural. Don’t be fooled. It isn’t that simple. The sweet molecules maltitol and high fructose corn syrup are part of the scam.

Maltitol is 90 percent as sweet as sugar. It is chemically derived from maltose using a chemical reaction known as hydrolysis – so much for being “natural.” And just like sugar, it raises insulin and blood sugar, thereby sabotaging your health.

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) (90 percent fructose and 10 percent glucose mixture) is as sweet as sugar, but poses a much bigger threat. Just like maltitol, it’s made in a lab via a multi-enzymatic process – so much for it being natural. And the sweet imposter radically spikes insulin and blood sugar while halting the biological production of anti-aging and muscle building hormones. It gets worse: It also gives rise to deadly AGE products – big time – while causing users to overeat. The end result is that wrinkles and fat come on like gangbusters.

So What is a Safe Sweetener?

Under the most rigid definition of safety, a safe sweetener must meet four criteria.

1) It must not raise blood glucose or trigger the release of our fat-storing hormone insulin.

2) It must not give rise to deadly AGE products.

3) It must not prevent our body from producing anti-aging and muscle building hormones.

4) It must be nontoxic.

Stevia (300 times sweeter than sugar), the sugar alcohol erythritol (60-70 percent as sweet as sugar), and – to a bit lesser degree – agave (as sweet as sugar), fit the rigid criteria for being safe sweeteners. Each one can be used – by diabetics too – without sabotaging health.

My 6-year old can recite all of the dangers of too much sugar and artificial flavors in a matter of two minutes. And because she still likes to get her “sweet fix,” she can tell you which natural sweeteners are best to use in tea, cookies, and cake. Not bad, considering that the self-appointed custodians of our health – physicians – are totally clueless about the sweetener epidemic that is sabotaging us. If a first-grader can learn to avoid sweet sabotage, you can too. Start by looking closer at what’s being added to your favorite sports food bars, powders, “protein cookies and sports drinks.

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There are 19 comments so far.


    July 21, 2008

    I’ve been avoiding sugar at all costs. It’s so addictive! I substitute the cravings with fruit. The less I eat sweets, the less cravings I have.
    Lately when we have guests at home, i bake a cake or brownie for them and make my own fruit dessert. We try to get rid of the sweets by taking them to work or I freeze them so my husband can have them whenever he wants them.
    I’ve read a little about the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to sweetners. It seems like there’s always something wrong no matter what you choose. My solution was to cut back slowly and avoid getting a taste for sweets again. The last thing I want is for chocolate cake to sabotage my weight management efforts :)


    July 21, 2008

    I wish there were some good recipes with these sweetners, I found stevia to be bitter in my coffee. I wonder if there are different variaties of this??


    July 21, 2008

    Here is an interesting article I came across recently: Big, Well-Balanced Breakfast Aids Weight Loss

    The most interesting part to me is the suggestion to include a piece of chocolate with your breakfast. The article says:

    “…by having a small piece of chocolate or candy when serotonin levels are high, it won’t taste as good, and the brain won’t feel the same serotonin boost, which will eventually help cut down on cravings.”

    My husband and I bought a huge dark chocolate bar from Trader Joe’s and cut it into 1 point pieces. We try to eat one each morning. I’m not a person that has huge sweet urges, but it does seem to help. I think we’ll go for milk chocolate next time (sweeter).

    I crave carbs like you wouldn’t believe. Any suggestions on that? :)



    July 21, 2008

    It’s crazy how oversweetened everything is! I spent forever at the grocery store yesterday trying to find a brand without added sugar or high fructose corn syrup. I’ve drastically cut back on the amount of sweets that I eat, and my body is very happy about this!

    I satisfy my sweet tooth with fruit 90% of the time. I used to think that that was such a cop-out answer, but then I made a personal rule that I would ALWAYS keep at least one perfectly ripe, delicious, dessert-worthy type of fruit in my house, even if I had to pay extra money for it. When good mangos, strawberries, peaches and other delicious fruits came into heavy rotation at my house, I honestly stopped craving sweets nearly as much.

    If I need a little extra sweet in something…I’m a mixed bag. I pretty much always put splenda or stevia in hot cocoa or sweet iced tea…the sugar rush just isn’t worth it and I can’t tell the difference, taste-wise. I use agave to sweeten things like yogurt. If I want a real dessert, I just use normal sugar or honey and cut back somewhat on the amount.


    July 21, 2008

    Holly, I just got done reading You on a Diet and they had some interesting stuff on why we crave what we crave and it has to do with our moods. Like when we are angry we want something crunchy. Sweets were linked with feeling depressed because the sugar makes you feel good, when I feel down I always want chocolate. Worth the read they explain a lot about our hormones, emotions, and how the body works. I got it from the library and it is definitely worth the read.


    July 21, 2008

    “Not bad, considering that the self-appointed custodians of our health – physicians – are totally clueless about the sweetener epidemic that is sabotaging us. ” –

    Alright, now… I loved this article until this part popped up. Iam not totally clueless. As a physician, we try every day to help patients make healthy choices (which some physicians do better than others… just like some people take healthful advice better than others). I wouldn’t say “totally clueless;” I’d say “also addicted.” :) As the article says, it’s so hard to break an addiction, particularly one that is in all areas of the food arena. We can all do better.

    Michele D

    July 21, 2008

    I honestly only CRAVE sweets when TOM is here. That’s the good thing…the bad part is that TOM has been visiting longer and more frequently than it should….

    But when I do, I usually head for ice cream of just about any variety. My actual favorite is vanilla ice cream with peanut butter in it…out of the jar is better than the stuff that’s already in it for me!!!!! I’ve only been buying the WW brands or lite, fat free, sugar free varieties, but from what I’ve been reading, even things like Splenda aren’t great for you…but the word I keep seeing is moderation.

    Isn’t that the case with EVERYTHING?? And isn’t that the one thing that if we all could practice it 95% of the time we would not be quite so overweight??…I say WE loosely…I know lots fo people here are in maintain mode…not loss mode…but I think our overweight society speaks volumes to the fact that overall people don’t practice much of anything in moderation these days.

    Well, listen to me Miss Doom and Gloom, sorry gang…just got me thinking!!!


    July 21, 2008

    I limit sugars period, fake especially. If I need something sweet I try to satisfy the wnat with fruit.

    With that said I will, on occasion, make a dessert with SF jello or sf ff pudding.

    I make smoothies and the berries will be sweet enough.

    I really really try to make a contious efort to have NOTHING in my home with HFCS at all, the stuff is horrible for us and I ahve found it in some unsuspecting places from time to time and add that item to my “do not buy” list.


    July 21, 2008

    Just read that Coca Cola company is planning a rival zero calorie sweetner derived from Stevia to compete with Splenda. A few months ago Coca Cola filed 24 patent applications for the new products.


    July 21, 2008

    Lately I have been satisfying my sweet tooth with fruit..I think it’s because it’s summer and I love fresh fruit in the summer. If that doesn’t work then I have a skinny cow ice cream since Ice cream is my weakness…those taste good and aren’t that bad for you!

    hope your doing well today and enjoying being back….also we tried the choice ramen last night..we didn’t have shrimp or broccoli to make your recipe but it was still very tasty!! Thanks for helping us find that food..john even enjoyed it and he loves ramen..and didn’t notice a big difference…so thank you!!!


    July 21, 2008

    such a great article. We have taken sugar out of our diet 99 percent of the time and use an occasional sweetener. So hard to know what to do sometimes to be healthy!


    July 21, 2008

    Wow! What a great article. I’ve been trying to decrease my amounts of sugar- mostly with NOT drinking pop! Which is turning out to be hard, but it’s getting less and less everyday!

    Again- great article and very helpful!


    July 21, 2008

    I am always wary of articles that give no references and give no information about the studies they say proves their point. You can find just as many reports giving the opposite information. For example, in the book Living the G. I. Diet, author Rick Gallop agrees that sugar is bad for you, but not sugar substitutes. When asked the question whether sugar substitutes are bad for your health, he replies,”A great deal of misinformation has been spread about sugar substitutes – driven mainly by the sugar lobby in the United States. All the major government and health agencies worldwide have approved the use of sweeteners and sugar substitutes and not a single peer-reviewed (scholarly) study has identified any health risks. For those who are still concerned about the safety of artificial sweeteners, there is a comprehensive rundown on sugar substitutes in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Consumer Magazine (see” You can go to the site and type in “sugar substitutes” where it says “search”. You will read a whole different perspective from what Shane Ellison wrote. I guess it boils down to who or what you want to believe.


    July 22, 2008

    I would like to be a “cleaner” eating person but I use quite a bit of artificially sweetened products (esp. Splenda). I haven’t tried any of the Stevia or agave.

    If I’m baking though, I would rather just use the real stuff in smaller amounts.


    July 22, 2008

    I want to say Thank You to Jeanine for her research and credible sources. I appreciate the hard research.

    For me, I crave sweets. I can sometimes satisfy my urge with fruit, which is usually my first choice. If that does not cut it, I will try SF/FF pudding with a dollup of Lite Cool Whip. Worse case scenario, I will eat a 60 calorie Hershey’s chocolate stick. Sometimes, even spreading a little peanut butter on a Kashi Cracker will curb the cravings.

    I have to share this story, as it is totally relavent to this topic. My aunt, who has been on a ‘diet’ for the last 30 years, cannot seem to lose weight. She refuses to eat things like bananas or drink organge juice because they are high in calories. She cooks with FF and Low Fat ‘stuff’. She will even get into a low carb phase and swear off bread and potatoes for a while. However, her plate is always overloaded and she always goes back for seconds. I know that the FF foods have added sugar to make them taste good. But her HUGE portions are what is killing her diet. She has this mindset that if she cuts back on fat and sugar that she is dieting. The problem is, she needs to cut back on her intake and have a balanced plate and a balanced lifestyle.

    The point to my rambling story is BALANCE. We all need to have balance in our lives, from our food choices to our exercise routine to our entertainment options.


    July 22, 2008

    Lots of really good information. The article was good and the comments are great. I have not tried steva but I have thought about it. I have to figure out a local place that carries it.


    July 24, 2008

    If I am hungry and I have a sweet tooth, I go for Fruit or like a 100 calorie pack of cookies or caramel rices cakes. If I am not that hungry, I go for decaf flavored tea, like peppermint. It has a strong flavor, it’s naturally sweet so I do not use any sugar or artificial sweeteners.


    July 26, 2008

    I have a major sweet tooth. I feel like after every meal I need a “lil” sweet to finsh it off. It’s a horrible mindset to have.
    Since having our daughter 2 years ago we both made an effort to not keep sweets in the house. We didnt want her to develop bad habits on our part. Its hard at times because Husband loves his sweets too. I try and use fruit in place of brownies but its very difficult. I havent tried the Steva yet, I used Splenda in the past though in place of sugar. Dont know how I feel about it, because its still SUGAR!!! Hump, so nothing accomplished I guess.. :)


    July 30, 2008

    I also find that if I eat fast food my cravings for sweets increase. I have also associated greasy fast food with bloating, heartburn, lack of ambition, depression symptoms & just plain being tired.

    The best way to test it is don’t eat or drink sweets or greasy foods for at least 3 weeks then add one thing at a time & see how you feel after you eat it. This is also a good time to see what you don’t crave anymore.

    I’m glad to hear others commenting on the sugar substitutes. I’ve always been against them. There is enough chemicals being put in our foods we don’t need to add more. It has been proven (not by the FDA) that the chemicals added in our foods increase diseases & ADD/ADHD symptoms.

    Keep up the good work on keeping track of your health.