Two posts from Jazz In Pieces have me wondering about my sugar consumption. Here’s the problem:
I don’t consume sugar.
Well, I do but not in drinks really. I’m addicted to Splenda.
I’m attracted to Splenda because of all the purported benefits:
- accepted by several national and international food safety regulatory bodies
- the only artificial sweetener ranked as “safe” by the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest.
- one can consume 15 mg/kg/day … “on a daily basis over a … lifetime without any adverse effects”.
- usually contains 95% dextrose, which the body readily metabolizes.
- safe to ingest as a diabetic sugar substitute
But it’s still considered an artificial sweetener, which means that it’s not “natural” or “unrefined.”
Is unrefined sugar really better? I’m not sure. My mother uses brown sugar because “it’s healthier for you” but after doing a bit of reading, brown sugar can be refined as well. But “natural brown sugar” exists and I wonder if my mother is on to something.
The reason I’m so concerned about refined sugar and artificial sweeteners doesn’t really have so much to do with my mental health as it does to do with my weight. But depending on my weight (namely gain), it affects my mental health so I suppose the two go hand-in-hand.
I’m beginning to watch what I ingest. I do drink coffee (perhaps too much now that I don’t have a full-time job) but have gone from 1% to skim milk. I don’t think coffee has any calories and I use less than 1/4 cup of milk in my coffee — significantly less than the 90-cal 8-oz serving size. I usually also drink about 1/2 to 3/4 of my coffee, no matter what size. Theoretically, I’m not drinking a full 16-oz cup of coffee unless I have about two cups, which these days, usually happens.
For the past two years, I haven’t had regular or diet soda. I’ve cut out Snapple and Arizona Iced Teas. I can’t even drink Crystal Light lemonade on-the-go packets anymore because they’re too sweet for me. Here’s the paradox, however: I use 5 packets of Splenda in a 16-oz coffee cup. Splenda is 600 times sweeter than regular sugar.
Here are the items I drink:
- coffee with skim milk and splenda
- diet lemonade from only Chick-Fil-A occasionally
- hot tea with splenda (honey and lemon when I’m sick)
- apple or orange juice (low acid) rarely
- amaretto sour or piña colada (light on the rum) rarely
I don’t really deviate from that. Hence, I like to think I’m doing OK on the liquids front but, as many studies have pointed out, I’m likely compensating for the low calories here in my food diet.