When people comment that I must have a sweet tooth, I counter with "Actually, they're all sweet." I LOVE sweets. I tried to live almost solely on them my first semester of college.. All-you-can-eat ice cream at the diner, every night?! Didn't work out so well. Hello, freshman fifteen! Why is the call of sweets so powerful? When was the last time you just had to eat something sweet? For me, it was this morning. Today I realized our hypothalamus has a bunch of answers to the 3 o'clock need (or all-the-time need) for sweet things. It basically keeps tabs on how much energy you have stored, while also keeping an eye on blood sugar levels. Of course, it's also influenced by personal preferences and experiences with food. This article explains the cycle of eating that first bite of delicious food and whether you reach back for another bite, and what makes you feel full vs. still hungry for more (hint: FRUCTOSE isn't the fairy godmother that you thought it was).
Have you ever heard of Hunter-Gatherer diets (ie the Paleolithic diet, Stone-age diet, etc)? It's all about eating plants that grow in the wild, and eating the meat of animals that were free to roam and eat natural diets (for example, free-range eggs). No grains, legumes, alcohol, coffee, or dairy - sorry! You're gonna have to get friendly with honey, plenty of produce, free-range meats, and nuts. The original idea behind this diet is that the biology and genetics of the human body has not changed much from our earlier days. Thus, the diet from "back then" should work great, especially compared to today's American diet & associated diseases (diabetes, obsesity, etc). One of the main problems that critics agree on is that the Paleo diet is confusing. Yes, it's an awesome health move to cut down on processed grains and sweets, but why can't one eat legumes?! What if I stumble across some beans growing in the wild and eat them? Since it is considered a fad diet by many health professionals, little research has been done to investigate health effects. US News and World Report has a list of best rated diets here. Please comment below with your thoughts on the Paleo diet!