Friday, May 25, 2012

Reducing the sweet palate

My friend Pam, who's a part of my Women and Food discussion group, sent me the following link ( The endocrinologist on the videos, Marlene Merritt, specializes in blood sugar issues. I watched her teachings with the same fascination and horror that come up for many of us around disasters and tragedies, for I knew that what she was saying was not only true in general, but true for me. Sometimes we have to hear things a bunch of times, sometimes they have to be presented to us in a certain way. But after I watched these videos, I knew I had to let go of denial and the way-out-in-the-future Some Day and start thinking about how I was going to change what I eat even more.

She said many things that struck me but here's one. Our brains respond to sweet as sweet, whether it comes from candy or a spoonful of brown sugar or a mango or diet soda. It responds by insulin production and for many of us, insulin overload. Which makes us crave something with sugars to "entertain," as she put it, the insulin our body is pumping out.

Her advice: move away from sweet. Sweet needs to be an occasional thing, not an every meal, every snack, every bite thing. Give up artificial sweeteners. Not healthy. Cut back on all the other forms of sweet. And while I gave up desserts, highly concentrated sweet, several years ago, I haven't really cut down on sweet. I eat prepared and processed foods (hidden sweet). I eat fruit and dried fruit (overt sweet). I eat potatoes and rice (acts like sweet in system).

Looking now for ways to shift. More on this later.

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