Artificial sweeteners are attractive alternatives to sugar because they add no calories to the diet. Well, they add no calories to the diet at the time they are being ingested. What goes on days, weeks, and months following artificial sweetener consumption (or addiction) though? Can extra calories be packed on then?
If you’re drinking zero calorie, artificially sweetened drinks everyday, sure calories aren’t coming from those diet cokes, but how are those diet cokes influencing other eating/drinking decisions you make? How are they affecting your brain? Are they giving you any nutritional benefit whatsoever?
Typically found in products marked “sugar-free” or “diet___,” the following are the most commonly used artificial sweeteners:
- Aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal)
- Sucralose (Splenda)
- Saccharin (Sweet & Low)
- Acesulfame potassium (Sweet One, Sunnett)
If weightloss is your goal, maybe think twice next time you go for one of these…
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, research has repeatedly shown that “no cal” or “low cal” sweeteners are anything but good for weight loss. Instead, studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can
- stimulate appetite
- increase carb cravings
- stimulate fat storage & weight gain
According to Ryan Andrews, these artificial sweeteners stimulate overeating by enhancing appetite and/or disrupting learned associations between sweet taste & caloric density of food. We get used to the extra sweet tastes (NOTE: aspartame exceeds table sugar sweetness by 200 times!). This is why & how diet sodas and other artificially sweetened foods & beverages can deter us from the enjoyment of unprocessed, natural foods.
If your goal is to better your diet and/or change your lifestyle and nutrition habits, your best bet is to always go for all natural foods. That would be fresh fruits, vegetables, and natural sugars. Eliminate the processed junk. When choosing food & drinks, think about if that food or drink actually will do something to improve your health. Although it hasn’t been “proven” that diet sodas or other artificially sweetened foods are the final blow to one’s health status, we do know that it’s not going to do much to improve our health. With that being said, it’s probably not the best idea & there are plenty of healthier options out there for you to choose from.
So rather than spending your money on artificially sweetened foods and drinks, spend it on quality foods and drinks. Your body will thank you!
“All About Diet Soda’s” by Ryan Andrews via Precision Nutrition
“Artificial Sweeteners Cause Greater Weight Gain than Sugars, Yet Another Study Reveals” by Dr. Joseph Mercola
” Artificial Sweeteners & Other Sugar Substitutes” Mayo Clinic