Vegetables and Artificial Sweeteners

- POSTED ON: Apr 04, 2012


Today, I'm thinking and rambling on about Vegetables
and about Artificial Sweeteners.

Recently, in my search for a better, more sustainable way of eating
that would allow me to maintain or reduce my current weight,
I looked into the specifics of several diets
that involve reducing or eliminating processed food,
and eating "real" food.

That's a tough one because I am very fond of
what they term "foodlike substances".

I've been able to reduce sugar… although I haven't totally eliminated it,
because the information available has convinced me that sugar
essentially has no food value, and makes me tired and fat,
and I've often noticed that it causes a sick feeling in my body
while at the same time making me crave more sugar.

During the past few years I've also run personal experiments
where I reduced carbs, and where I eliminated wheat,
but these did very little to improve the quality of my life
or help me in maintenance or weight-reduction.
I, also, have not been able to personally sustain that eating behavior
for more than about twelve weeks at a time.

The main reason that I've been successful at reducing sugar,
is because I can get about the same taste from artificial sweeteners,
without the tired, sick feeling, or cravings,
or the added calories that make me fat.

Artificial sweeteners can definitely be termed "foodlike substances".
However, using them as a substitute is immensely valuable to me,
and so I'm not about to try to reduce or eliminate them
without some cold, hard proof showing me
that my life will greatly improve without them.

This is a real sticking point for me,
which does tend to keep me out of the "real food" mindset.

Anyway, what I noticed was that most of these "real food" plans
… except for the very low carb ones …
require eating a great many more vegetables than I am accustomed to.
I could eat vegetables. I just hardly ever do.
This would not be a hardship.
Trading some of my processed foods for vegetables
is something I've seldom focused on,
and perhaps I'll try THAT PART of a real food plan.

Hell will probably freeze over before I'm ready to
give up Splenda and Diet Cokes.
It would take some very convincing research,
…..far beyond what now exists,…
providing PROOF that artificial sweeteners are the CAUSE
of my personal weight problems before I would be willing
to adopt a plan for their elimination.

There are many other, less desirable, "foodlike substances"
which I have not yet eliminated in my dieting lifestyle
and I would reduce or eliminate those things
and watch my results, before addressing my Splenda.
As far as artificial sweeteners go,
I'm not willing to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

So what does this all mean?
I don't know… but
today I had a green salad with vegetable soup for my lunch,
and a small bowl of raw cauliflower for a snack.

Leave me a comment.

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Existing Comments:

On Apr 04, 2012 Karen925 wrote:
Nice ramblings:-) I do both, i.e. eat my veggies and use Splenda . I subsitute quite happily veggies for starch most of the time. I am trying JUDDD for maintenance, and I am able to eat more rice, bread, pasta, potatoes on my UD. I am quite happy substituting veggies for my starches on my DD which I learned while losing on low calorie, and continuing to do so as I am low"er" carb than the SAD . For my body, <100 gram is what I strive for (Mark Sisson) and on DD it is quite easy to do. Averaged with my UD, I still come in under this average for the week/month while enjoying some delicious and definitely higher carb meals occasionally. As for the Splenda, I think it is perfectly fine. I eat it in moderation. I have had no deleterious effects that I have been able to measure and I am grateful it is on the market. Your post made me think, I have evolved to do both of these things. Both of these habits have given me a quality of life I would never have imagined 3 years ago when I started my quest for weight loss following your successful example and tips.

On Apr 04, 2012 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Hi Karen. I enjoyed reading your comment. Having done a lot of experimenting with JUDDD myself, I am curious about your personal JUDDD up and down day plan. Do you follow the 500 calories or less rule on down days, and then eat your normal calorie allotment on up days? Do you eat throughout the day on down days, or fast all day and eat only one meal? Is this something you can see yourself doing forever?

On Apr 05, 2012 Dr. Collins wrote:
I enjoy Truvia as opposed to splenda, but I try to budget real sugar when I can (It just tastes to good). But I absolutely hate full sugar pop, I have no idea why. But I don't care that aspertame is bad for my, I won't give up my Diet Coke, Diet Dr Pepper, and TAB willingly.

On Apr 06, 2012 Dr. Collins wrote:
             186to134, it has probably been more than 20 years since I drank a full-sugar soda, and they are totally disgusting to me, but I love my Diet Coke, and aspertame doesn't bother me. I use Truvia occasionally, and If I were ever willing to experiment with eliminating Splenda, that's probably what I would use instead. However, calling Stevia a natural "herb", ..and therefore better... is a clever marketing ploy that I don't really buy into.

On Apr 06, 2012 Dr. Collins wrote:
Well, I have to say I am totally surprised that after all your years of working on this that you don't eat very many vegetables! That's one of the first things recommended for health and added satiety for weight loss, isn't it? I'm puzzled that you jumped immediately to replacing the starch (I won't call it carb because vegetables are carbs) with veggies, though. Why not half and half volume to start, since you obviously enjoy your carbs? I can't imagine the same satisfaction from my meals if I didn't get to have the chewing and variety of texture from my veggies- usually one/two green and one not green at lunch and dinner , though I see from other sites and my colleagues that they aren't very important to the majority. In fact, the only other colleague who eats them as often as I do at lunch is also a 'weight controller.' Once in awhile I feel like leaving out the starch, but not often. I, too, use artificial sweeteners when I don't have my stevia. I don't consider stevia artificial. It's true that it doesn't taste the same, but it's still pleasant in my coffee or mocha, and sometimes oatmeal or yogurt. The problem with some of the possible positive or negative effects of these substances is that you don't necessarily feel all their effects. Do you have to feel something obvious to believe that the phytonutrients in colorful freggies are beneficial? For the negative ones, that is the nature of a degenerative disease. It builds up until it reaches a critical point. Then the damage is done. The other issue is that for negative effects, it is almost always about probability. Not everyone will be affected. So we don't really know if some small thing is setting us up for catastrophic disease. And because we don't know/aren't sure, we roll the dice. It doesn't mean we're right that they're not causing a problem because we don't feel it. I cut way back on my soda partially because of sweeteners (I'm in a high-risk category for cancer- I don't drink much alcohol, either) and partially because of carbonated colas' connection to osteoporosis. Once again, a crap shoot. One gamble I'm not willing to take. I'd probably be better off if I were a lot skinnier. A gamble I am willing to take. So far no one has convinced me either that modest consumption of refined sugar is largely deleterious, though I probably would feel to some degree even better if I never had it. I have it only on weekends, but the amount isn't consistently modest. I can see a day in which I actually do have it truly only occasionally. But not yet. Anyway, this should be an interesting experiment, and you are an inveterate experimenter! It's great to have the discipline to try all these things and the honesty to look at what actually happens rather than what is "supposed" to happen. I'd love to hear that you enjoyably got what you wanted.

On Apr 06, 2012 Dr. Collins wrote:
             I've always eaten vegetables, but I've never found vegetables to be very interesting or satisfying, except for starchy vegetables covered with fat. During my younger dieting years, trading vegetables for other foods that I found more desirable, never worked for me. My surgery 20 years ago, took away my ability to be a "high volume" eater. I still can only eat very small amounts of food at a time, and it is necessary for me to make about half of that food, and calories, consist of protein. Also for various reasons, my personal calorie burn is very low. This makes my choice either protein and a starch, OR protein and a vegetable. I wonder if you can guess which one I usually choose? ... LOL ... ********** ... I am in my 67th year of life, and there are REALLY very few 67 year old women with bodies as healthy as mine. I have no health issues, and take no medication. The Human Body is designed to wear out. Those of us who live to get old, are supposed to die of illness and complications that old age brings. Sometimes it's cancer, sometimes heart conditions, sometimes other age-related physical diseases. Old age makes people susceptible to illness, and this happens no matter what they choose to eat. Anything can happen at any time, it happens to the "physically fit" just as often as to those who are "out of shape", although marketing interests would choose to have us not believe this truth. Most old people die in their 70s and 80s, a few live on into their 90s. "Healthy" old people can live a very long time in nursing homes. I'd rather die more quickly. My own mother died at age 85 after many, many years of suffering from Alzheimers. It took a very long time for her body to physically deteroriate. Her body far outlasted her mind ... that is one of my fears. I'd much prefer a quicker death from cancer or heart disease. *************** My own personal desire to be normal weight is based far more on vanity than it is on health, and at this point, eating "healthy" is only important to me due to how a specific food makes my body feel ... immediately after eating it ... AND whether or not those foods will make me fat again.

On Apr 06, 2012 Karen925 wrote:
Do you follow the 500 calories or less rule on down days, and then eat your normal calorie allotment on up days? *****My range from the calculator is 700/1500 for maintenance. I sometimes go lower to 500 when I want to borrow calories for the next day or when I would like to practice eating lower and experiencing it. The reason I would want to do that is to broaden my skill set and give me better options during more stressful eating situations. Trying 500 calories or less periodically has been an interesting exercise I have enjoyed. That is surprising and worthy of reflection for me. Do you eat throughout the day on down days, or fast all day and eat only one meal? *****Depends on the day. My DD are MWF. MW I have breakfast (150 cal), no lunch, remainder for dinner. Friday no breakfast or lunch just dinner. I have been wanting to incorporate fasting into my prayer life and JUDDD/Eat Stop Eat gave me the structure to do it. Fridays is generally my fasting day. Main meal of 500-700 calories usually. If I have traveled over the weekend, I will have a second fast on Monday following similar routine of Friday. By saving my calories for one main meal I am able to eat with the family at dinner time, and even go out to eat if needed and still be successful. This flexibility is quite appealing. Your recipes are very helpful on the days!!! Is this something you can see yourself doing forever?***** I became intrigued with actually trying it when I read a number of women in their 60's & 70's losing weight and also seeing the BMR increasing. I worried about my own slow decline towards lower and lower calories and was willing to try CR to see if it could work for me. I liked the lessing of food preparation and cost and this helped with getting through the first few DDs. I like the delightfully high calorie/carb meals I enjoy while having quick recovery to my goal weights afterwards. It builds on my skills of daily weighing, food journaling, planning meals ahead and recipe modification to lower calorie counts (this is where I have found success substituting veggies for starches). Forever, that is quite a term. I see myself doing this for the next month:-) I started mid November of 2011 and have found calorie cycling at first challenging but then quite easy. Sometime ago, I asked abut statistics abut maintainers and there were not any that you or I know about. It is a day by day basis. However, as I go along, I am finding the ancillary benefits of fasting to continue to propel me to continue this woe. If nothing else than my desire to eat in the afternoon was curtailed, this woe would be a success. It has been a success.

On Apr 06, 2012 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Karen, thanks for sharing some details about your experience with JUDDD. As I've shared previously, I incorporated some similar plans for several years starting with about 6 months into maintenance. Eventually, I became rather tired of the down days, and found myself tending to binge on up days, but that alternate day food cycling has a lot of merit, and I will probably do more of it sometime in the future.

On Apr 06, 2012 Karen925 wrote:
I tested my pH level (both saliva & urine) for over a month several times a day while drinking diet sodas 3x/week. I was not acidic. I was concerned about the possibility of bone loss neutralizing the acidity of diet sodas. I take D3 daily, K2, and sun at solar noon for 20 minutes per side as often as my schedule permits. I will take Magnesium at night occasionally. I monitor my calcium levels regularly with my doctor twice a year as it was low before starting this protocol. I have developed a nice brown color, hightened my sense of joy, and do not burn as I have thoughout my life when outdoors for other events. For me, diet sodas have no negative health ramifications that can be objectively measured at present time with science's current technology.

On Apr 06, 2012 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Karen, I find your personal testing interesting. So many times throughout my life I've "given foods up" because of this or that "expert's" opinion, only to have the original findings reversed later resulting in an opposite opinion becoming the vogue. I've now become quite cynical of "experts" who come up with lists of foods people aren't supposed to eat.

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