Just another reason to eat real food

My dad loves his Splenda and his no-calorie drink mixes. He’s a bit of a health fanatic, but I’ve been after him for years to eat less weird gross manufactured food and more real food. (Recently, in an attempt to wean him off margarine, I bought him this French butter dish.) Now I have even more ammunition for my Omnivore’s Dilemma-inspired Real Food Diet – evidence that artificial sweeteners make rats gain weight. From Scientific American:

Typically, they [the study’s authors] say, the taste buds, sensing something sweet, signal the brain to prep the digestive system to gear up for a caloric onslaught; when the expected sugar jolt (extra calories) fails to materialize, the body gets rattled and has trouble bouncing back and regulating appetite when other food is available. As a result, the rats eat more or expend less energy than they would have had they had the real thing.

In other words, real food makes you feel full and satisfied, so you eat less. Isn’t it great when your health depends on making food that tastes better?


9 Responses to Just another reason to eat real food

  1. Sam says:

    Unsurprisingly, I’m reading Michael Pollan’s new book, In Defense of Food: an Eater’s Manifesto, which is about that very thing. It’s not as well-written as Omnivore’s Dilemma, and so far I have some quibbles with things he hasn’t questioned deeply enough, but perhaps your dad ought to read it anyway.

  2. Scott says:

    Just to add to the link archive. The New York Times reports that metabolic syndrome in humans is tied to consumption of diet soft drinks.

    And Sam, I’m totally with you on In Defense of Food. I have my own criticisms. We can have that conversation some other time.

  3. Justin says:

    Ack! I knew this day was coming. Diet Coke is my last vice in life. I had a feeling it wasn’t so good for me. This sort of confirms it. Thanks for the info….now I will begin the weening process…./cry.

  4. Gila says:

    Oh no no no. If I have to give up the Diet 7Up, someone is going to get hurt.

    I gave up the damn cigarettes, have a normal job, work out regularly…am I not allowed to have one freakin’ vice? I mean, apart from the weekly coke snorting?


  5. Jersey says:

    My idea is that all these preservatives are perhaps one of several reasons why we are so fat, I mean after too much food and lack of exercise of course.

    I mean, splenda is made from real sugar, just minus the alcohol stuff. Equal is made from aspartame, the real weird stuff.

  6. grisgirl849 says:

    I have a thing about eating “real food.” That requires the investment of time in smart shopping, not an easy thing to do when you are busy. Some things you make time for. One of the things I have observed when I am shopping is that the younger mothers put lots of processed, prepared foods in their carts. I see lots of tv dinners, minute rice, instant potatoes, sugar laden sodss, canned food. Does anybody cook anymore? Real food takes time and energy and busy people just have to find the time. One thing that makes some of that easier is to invest in a crock pot. With a crock pot, you can put your meat and veggies in a large pot, season it, and put it on low to cook all day. With a salad and some homemade bread, you have a real cool meal! We also have an ice cream maker. Make your ice cream and believe me, everybody comes home to eat, lol! That is alwo something that disturbs me. People do not eat together anymore. How do you find the time? You just do, just like you find the time for, well, you know what, lol!

  7. Perhaps your dad can try ‘stevia’, the only sweetener known that does not disrupt blood sugar and metabolism. It’s 600 x as sweet as sugar, and it’s from a plant. It’s a bit pricier but so what, it’s entirely natural. Stevia does not ‘bake’ well into desserts because there is no volume, but using a bit with bubbly mineral water and fruit juice makes a ‘pop’ i’ve learned to prefer over the poison ones. SOme complain about the ‘aftertaste’ which I taste but don’t mind, but it takes a bit of getting used to. Stevia rocks in coffee- the slightly unusual aftertaste actually goes great with coffee because of its strong flavour, and it doesn’t rot my teeth- I like to sip my coffee all morning which is terrible for your teeth- you should just swig it back and be done with it if it has sugar in it, even if it’s just a teaspoon. So try it, maybe you’ll like it. MOst health food stores carry it but a lot of regular groceries do now too.


  8. Eric Wolff says:

    I just don’t see any reason why Stevia (or nutrasweet, or sweet n. low) is better than sugar. Use sugar. Just use it in small quantities

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