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    MrSnstr's Avatar
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    Resetting the sweet meter?(longish post)

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    About 7 years ago; before I ever heard of the primal blueprint, paleo diet, or anything of the sort. I tried a little self experiment to help rid myself of the excess sugar and cravings in my diet. I'm sharing it here because some of you may find it interesting or even helpful, and some may want to give it a go yourself.

    Little background: was 23 years old, about 30-40 lbs overweight, undiagnosed but with many symptoms of 'prediabetes' or metabolic syndrome, standard american diet full of soda and eating lots of sweets.

    The goal: to cut out all the simple sugars from my diet for a period of a couple months or so; or actually anything that 'tasted sweet', or that I knew had a large amount of simple carbs. That included beer and as I soon learned just about every prepared/processed food under the sun, as they all seem to contain added sugar. Fruits were also cut out as they tasted sweet, even though they're good for you. If it tasted sweet, it was a no go.

    The first couple of days/weeks were pretty rough; irritable, seemingly constant hunger pangs, headaches, and just a general no good feeling. It felt like fasting actually, which I tried about a year after this. After about two weeks it got easier. After the first month, it got really easy; I didn't even look or think twice about it anymore, I was feeling good and losing weight.

    At about the two month mark I started noticing something strange. Foods that I never considered or even thought of as having sweetness started tasting sweeter to me. Jasmine green tea was the first one I noticed, plain hot with nothing added, yet I started detecting a certain sweetness in its profile. Then I noticed it more in vegetables, and even black coffee had a certain sweetness about it. Nothing like 'candy' or dessert sweet; just a hint, a pleasant little hint of sweetness.

    Things went on like this for another month, at which time I was at the three month mark. This is where I decided I would reintroduce the more healthy or enjoyable of the foods I had cut out. Beer was first; I opted for a Killians first. It was not something that I had ever thought of as having a sweet taste, but that first sip, and I kid you not, tasted like a fully sugar laden soda to me. Dr Pepper is what it tasted like to be exact, it was overwhelmingly sweet to me. I couldn't finish it, I didn't want to, it was just too cloyingly sweet for me.

    Back to now, I still can only have a little taste of sweets, and happier for it. Just a little bite of candy or tiny sip of soda, anything more and it's no longer enjoyable. Allot of processed foods that have extra sugar hidden in them still taste overwhelmingly sweet to me. I gained a great appreciation for high cocoa dark chocolates(90%+), and dark red dry wines. Most beers still taste too sweet for me to drink more than one of them, and I still taste a tiny hint of sweetness in my green tea or good black coffee.

    It seemed as though I had reset the sweet meter in my taste buds or something. Overall this was a hugely positive experience for me; those "healthy" food options all tasted better, and allot of that processed junk that everyone seems to agree should be cut out of ones diet has become unpalatable. Also the aversion to overly bitter or sour things became almost nonexistent, I'm not sure what that's about.

    Thanks you for reading. Please share your thoughts or similar experiences; I'm very interested in hearing them. If anyone is thinking about giving this a go, I would highly recommend it.

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    emmie's Avatar
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    Alas, I wish this were true for me. I have been free of all sugar and artificial sweeteners for several years because anything with a 'sweet' taste is a trigger food for me and leads to overeating.

    However, the few times that I've indulged in something sweet, it's been nirvana. I have an incredible sweet tooth, and it hasn't diminished at all via abstinence.

    However, the good news is that I, too, feel that without sugar, I 'taste' my regular, whole foods better and enjoy them more.

    But sweets remain my major temptation.

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    Sadly, I still crave sweets and chocolate, but it happens less frequently. I, too, have discovered the nuances in my food when I cut out the crap from my diet. It's amazing how much flavor fresh fruits and vegetables have once they're not drowned in sauces and dressings.
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    MrSnstr, you know what? You've inspired me to ditch the artificial sweetener for a bit. I don't use a lot, but I do use it daily (a half packet in each of two cups of espresso). I'm not that much of a sweet eater anyway, so this will be a good thing, and something I've been procrastinating.

    Thanx!

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    Thank you for sharing!
    I had a similar experience - I was a horrible sweet tooth and would easily eat industrial amounts of sugary stuff. Going low carb paleo/primal (I go full paleo when I wasnt to be stricter with myself) has certainly reset my tastebuds which is wonderful. I have progressed from enjoyin only sweet chocolate to indulging on 90% stuff and thinking it is sweet. Same with veggies, laik kolrhabi or carrots. I think my palate in general has been improving gradually - great news because I am a huge gourmet and enjoy variety of flavours and new experiences.

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    I have had similar experience. Cutting out everything sweet for a few months and then reintroducing a few things like dark chocolate and red wine and some fruits. The biggest tell for me was my birthday this past summer. I used to get a mocha cake from a local bakery that was far less sweet than other cakes from cheaper bakeries. It's made with real ingredients and real buttercream icing etc. So instead of buying a whole cake I even bought just one slice. I was so looking forward to it! Turns out I could only eat half of one piece! It was waaaaay toooo sweet. Now I couldn't care less if I ever ate it again.

    And yes coffee is chocolately, especially if it's good quality and made right.
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    I've had the same sweet-tooth reset just doing the basic Primal Blueprint. I totally related to the comment of black coffee tasting sweet. I'm drinking some right now and that sweetness is what I really enjoy. Who knew?

    Oddly, I have never liked honey but recently I tasted some and although it is very sweet, it tasted different from how I remember and I actually liked it. There are a lot of complex other flavors in there. I have a friend who keeps bees (and who is an evangelist and insists that I, the most terrified of bees person you will ever meet, should keep them). He gives us free honey. The last batch is almost pitch black.
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    Sandra in BC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    Oddly, I have never liked honey but recently I tasted some and although it is very sweet, it tasted different from how I remember and I actually liked it. There are a lot of complex other flavors in there. I have a friend who keeps bees (and who is an evangelist and insists that I, the most terrified of bees person you will ever meet, should keep them). He gives us free honey. The last batch is almost pitch black.
    As sweet as honey is, it never leaves a sour or bitter aftertaste like refined, processed or artificial sweeteners do. The complexity of the flavors of different varieties is astounding. I think that layering of flavors makes honey taste more like *food* and less like sugar. I buy all my honey from a local producer. My absolute fave is Fireweed. Smooth and buttery! And very hard to get depending on the previous wildfire season. Right now I have a kg of Orange Blossom on hand... very rich and exotic. Creamed clover is the family favorite.
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    MrSnstr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoanieL View Post
    MrSnstr, you know what? You've inspired me to ditch the artificial sweetener for a bit. I don't use a lot, but I do use it daily (a half packet in each of two cups of espresso). I'm not that much of a sweet eater anyway, so this will be a good thing, and something I've been procrastinating.

    Thanx!
    Awesome and good luck to you, once you get past "the hump" you'll never look back. You'll love that espresso plain in ways you never imagined.

    To some of the other posters,
    Carrots, yes, you can really taste the natural sugars in there once you cut out the overly sweet items. Carrot juice mixed with coconut milk is just ridiculous; the taste/texture reminded me of chocolate milk.

    Dark dark chocolates and black coffee are absolutely amazing once you become acustomed to not being overloaded with pure sugar constantly.

    A note on honey; it does seem to occupy it's own unique spot. I find I don't get overwhelmed by it's sweetness, like you all were saying, it must be the complexity and nuanced of flavors involved.

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    I absolutely have noticed this change in my sense of taste, but I still crave refined sugars from time to time. It's definitely overwhelming when I eat them, but I enjoy them for the sake of nostalgia, I think. I don't eat that stuff very often anymore.

    Raw honey is infinitely better than "regular", IMO.
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