Week of:
Mar 24, 2017

Serious sweet tooth

Hey Alice,

I am a 19-year-old male and I am on the worst end of sugar intake. On normal days, I have found myself to consume upwards of 500 grams of sugar, and I have no idea how much I eat on special occasions where candy and other sweets are bountiful.

I am a lanky kid with a family history of excessively high metabolisms. When I reach for a snack, I grab an entire box of cookies — mostly vanilla wafers or graham crackers — and a large cup of milk because I don't want to have to get up again. I always reach for easy to eat and high calorie food choices because they take less effort to consume and last me longer.

To go along with this large quantity food consumed, I exercise a lot and am fairly hyper at all times. I enjoy the way I live and love playing sports all the time and I don't want to change it. I am merely wondering what other high calorie, easy access foods are out there that would be even a little bit healthier for me to eat. My father is also a borderline diabetic.

Thanks Alice,

Sugar Destroyer

Eating sugar makes me sweat — why?

Dear Alice:

I have noticed that whenever I eat certain sugary foods — especially chocolates and hard candies — I break out into a cold sweat and feel extremely uncomfortable for about half an hour. I have no problem, however, with pure cane sugar (when I drink coffee or tea, for example). Is this a normal adrenaline reaction to sugar, or a certain type of sugar?

— Candy Lover

Why do people find fatty or sugary foods comforting?

Dear Alice,

Why do people find fatty or sugary foods comforting? I mean, what is it in these types of foods that causes the body / mind to see this type of food as comforting or pleasurable? Surely from the point of view of the body, it prefers foods that are high in nutrients — so why do people who turn to food for comfort always turn to fatty or sugary foods that don't offer the body anything? just wondering??? and I hope that made sense because I'm sorry it's quite badly worded!

Still can't control cravings for sweets

Dear Alice,

I try to eat a piece of fruit for dessert after a meal; however, when I have substituted after-meal sweet cravings with fruit, I still end up craving some other type of sweets (i.e., candy, chocolate, ice cream.) It seems that after every meal, I can't feel satisfied until I have eaten something of this food category. I do try to listen to my body and this appears to be programmed into my mind telling my body it is wanting this food consistently. Can you provide any explanation as I am trying to lose weight and this type of food is empty calories and unhealthy? I work out six days a week and have recently given up smoking.

Diet soda and insulin spikes

Dear Alice,

I have heard that the main reason why diet drinks, like a diet soda, can be bad on a diet, is that it can spike insulin levels and then your body expects sugar that it does not get. I have taken to the habit of only occasionally having diet drinks with meals, so that any increase in insulin is actually met with food in my system. My question is whether or not this is a good/workable strategy, or whether a diet soda is a diet soda no matter when you drink it and is therefore always a bad idea. Thank you for your time.