Honestly guys, I was one of those “Diet Coke” addicts before I got into this healthy living lifestyle. I was definitely one of those people that felt “well it says, diet, so that must mean it’s ok for me.” Errrrr – WRONG.
A study in the Journal of Behavioral Neuroscience has shown conclusively that using artificial sweeteners not only does not prevent weight loss, but induces a whole set of physiological and hormonal responses that actually make you gain weight.
The researchers proved this by giving two different groups of rats some yogurt. One batch of yogurt was sweetened with sugar. The other was sweetened with saccharin. They found that three major things happened over a very short period of time in the rats that were fed artificially sweetened yogurt.
First, the researchers found that the total food eaten over 14 days dramatically increased in the artificial sweetener group — meaning that the artificial sweetener stimulated their appetite and made them eat more.
Second, these rats gained a lot more weight and their body fat increased significantly.
And third (and this is very concerning) was the change in core body temperature of the rats fed the artificial sweeteners. Their core body temperature decreased, meaning their metabolism slowed down.
So not only did the rats eat more, gain more weight, and have more body fat, but they actually lowered their core body temperature and slowed their metabolism. As I have said many times before, all calories are not created equal …
The most astounding finding in the study was that even though the rats that ate the saccharin-sweetened yogurt consumed fewer calories overall than the rats that ate the sugar-sweetened yogurt, they gained more weight and body fat.
These findings turn the conventional view that people will consume fewer calories by drinking artificially sweetened drinks or eating artificially sweetened foods on its head. Despite their name, these are not “diet” drinks. They are actually “weight gain” drinks!
We’re surrounded by low-calorie, “health conscious foods” and diet soft drinks that contain sweeteners. As a result, the number of Americans who consume products that contain sugar-free sweeteners grew from 70 million in 1987 to 160 million in 2000.
At the same time, the incidence of obesity in the United States has doubled from 15 percent to 30 percent across all age groups, ethnic groups, and social strata. And the number of overweight Americans has increased from about 30 percent to over 65 percent of the population. The fastest growing obese population is children.
Here’s the bottom line: Avoid artificial sweeteners, including aspartame, acesulfame, sucralose, sugar alcohols such as malitol and xylitol (pretty much anything that ends in “ol”), as well as natural artificial sweeteners like truvia.
Stop confusing your body. If you have a desire for something sweet have a little sugar, but stay away from “fake” foods. Eating a whole-foods diet that has a low-glycemic load and is rich in phytonutrients and indulging in a few real sweet treats once in a while is a better alternative than tricking your body with artificial sweeteners – which leads to wide scale metabolic rebellion and obesity.
Now I’d like to hear from you…
Do you use artificially sweetened products?
How have they affected your weight?