FYI, you can cut sugar out of your diet, but it's not going to change your basic eating habits
Every week it seems as if there’s a new way to make your diet the right diet, whether that be through cutting carbs, cutting fat, or, more recently, cutting sugar. (The real secret may be just eating less.)
A new study by the Monell Chemical Sense Center has debunked the overall effectiveness of low-sugar diet by separating two groups of people into those who ate a low-sugar diet and those who ate as they regularly would. Those in the former group cut their sugar intake by 40 percent, replacing that part of their diet with fat, carbs, and protein.
Over the next three months, dieting participants were regularly tested on how they perceived the sweetness of various desserts. Most agreed that desserts they would have thought were just fine in the past now tasted too sweet. Even so, the low-sugar participants still had an average preferred sugar level of 32.4 percent compared to 31.2 percent for the non-diet group.
Accordingly, their sugar intake levels and perception of sweetness intensity rebounded to where they’d been before the study took place.
So, what’s the takeaway? Well, cutting your sugar intake simply won’t cut your desire for sugar. After all, humans are born with an intense affinity for things that are sweet, and as the scientists behind this study discovered, that desire can’t be altered in just three or four months.
“Overconsumption of sugar is widely believed to contribute to obesity and related health problems such as heart disease,” said Dr. Paul Wise, a scientist who worked on the study, in a press release. “If people could adjust to a lower-sugar diet over time without affecting food acceptance, it might be possible to gradually reduce added sugars in food and beverages without causing rejection.”
It remains to be seen whether more long-term sugar reduction (i.e. over the course of a year or two) could change our preferences. For now, your best bet is probably moderation, plain and simple.
(Image via Warner Bros.)