November 5, 2010

Fake Poison

I state a lot of things unequivocally on this blog. But reality, of course, rarely lends itself to stark dichotomies. And so, often enough, I am left making statements that, though rather bold, may not be altogether substantial.

Of course, this is the internet. This is the land of ambiguity, faceless braggadocio, and virulent rage. I try and avoid that sort of thing. In part, because there is plenty of it already. But also because I am not anonymous. Which is not to say that I'm any kind of noteworthy, of course; only that I have my true identity posted to your immediate right.

But I'll get to the point now. And I have to say, getting to the point in only a couple paragraphs is pretty good for me.

Artificial sweeteners. Aspartame. Sucralose. The pink, blue and yellow "sugars", which are, of course, anything but. They are, in and of themselves, non-caloric. Although, it is worth noting, most are packed with maltodextrin and dextrose, carbohydrates which are actually more high glycemic than sugar itself. People sprinkle them on anything and everything, because what tastes good must taste sweet. And sugar, of course, will make you fat and diabetic. So load up the Splenda and down another low-fat turkey sandwich dear, that fat is practically melting off.

If it sounds like I'm veering towards internet rage, well, you're not too far off. It's not that I ahve any problem with people trying to lose weight. And I certainly don't fault anyone for avoiding sugar.

But here's the deal. I know I stated, from the get-go, that unequivocal statements are dubious. I believe this to be true. But I'm also a hypocrite. That is, I used to down artificial sweeteners like... well... candy. Which is appropriate in a sense. But now I sit, quite unsure of whether that is good, bad, or benign. After all, sugar is the stuff I've called metabolic poison before. Which, frankly, is too strong. A decent pancreas and insulin sensitivity can handle quite a bit of the stuff, in truth. And didn't I JUST WRITE about putting sugar in my coffee, pre-workout? But didn't I also just drink a Sprite Zero two days ago?


The truth is, I have no idea what the truth is. I don't know if fake sugar makes you fat, by triggering craving and wrecking your metabolism. I don't know if fake sugar gives you cancer, is to blame for world hunger. There is too much debate, too much evidence on every side, for me to pretend at being an expert.

But I do know this, unequivocally. If you drink your coffee black, you don't need to sweeten it with anything.

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