Most people use artificial sweeteners to lose weight. The amazing irony is that nearly all the studies that have carefully analyzed their effectiveness show that those who use artificial sweeteners actually gain more weight than those who consume caloric sweeteners.
In 2005, data gathered from the 25-year long San Antonio Heart Study showed that drinking diet soft drinks increased the likelihood of serious weight gain – far more so than regular soda. On average, each diet soft drink the participants consumed per day increased their risk of becoming overweight by 65 percent within the next seven
to eight years, and made them 41 percent more likely to become obese.
The reasons for this ironic reality are still being investigated, but there are several potential causes, including:
•Sweet taste alone appears to increase hunger, regardless of caloric content.
•Artificial sweeteners appear to simply perpetuate a craving for sweets, and overall sugar consumption is therefore not reduced—leading to further problems controlling
•Artificial sweeteners may disrupt your body’s natural ability to “count calories,” as evidenced in studies such as this 2004 study at Purdue University, which found that rats fed artificially sweetened liquids ate more high-calorie food than rats fed high-caloric sweetened liquids.
In the end, the research tells us that artificial sweeteners are NOT a dieter’s best friend, because contrary to what the marketing campaigns claim, low- or no-calorie
artificial sweeteners are more likely to help you pack on the pounds than shed them.
There are also a large number of health dangers associated with artificial sweeteners and aspartame in particular. I’ve started compiling a growing list of studies pertaining to health problems associated with aspartame, which you can find here. If you’re still on the fence, I highly recommend reviewing these studies for yourself so that you can make an educated decision.
For more information on aspartame, the worst artificial sweetener, please see my aspartame video.
There are so many alternatives instead of artificial sweeteners! Here is our line of defense, in order:
- Natural sweeteners, such as stevia or xylitol. Both are calorie-free, too!
- Honey, preferably raw, maple syrup, or agave nectar.
- If sugar is a must, there are more unrefined options, such as rapadura or sucanat.