Many people believe that sugar-free treats are a healthy way to enjoy sweet foods. They often eat them without care and limits, because they do not believe that they will gain weight because of the lower calorie intake. However, this could be a very big mistake, as research shows that artificial sweeteners actually increase people’s weight.
A report published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal reveals the sad truth about artificial sweeteners. After analyzing 37 trials involving more than 400,000 people in a decade, they found that artificial sweeteners did not contribute to weight loss. In fact, they found that those who consume one or more artificially sweetened drinks daily are at a higher risk of not only gaining weight but also suffering from heart disease and diabetes.
Study author Meghan Azad, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Manitoba, said, “I believe there is a presumption that zero calories will not cause harm.” This study shows that calories are not the only factor in weight gain.
Whether or not the sweeteners cause harm is a topic that is much discussed, given how much money food companies make with these products. To make matters worse, people who consume artificial sweeteners generally also consume more processed food in general. This could also lead to obesity.
However, there are numerous studies that clearly show that sweeteners cause health problems. For example, they disturb the intestinal microbiome and prevent the absorption of nutrients. They are also believed to increase the craving for sugar.
Another psychological effect that leads to more obesity: They believe that because they do not consume calories with their drink, they can eat elsewhere. A person who normally does not consume dessert when taking lemonade for dinner will most likely order one in addition to his diet drink.
Further evidence that sweeteners lead to weight gain
A study published in Preventive Medicine of nearly 80,000 women found that those who used artificial sweeteners had a significantly higher likelihood of gaining weight than those who avoided the substances, while another study found that eating foods containing saccharin and Containing aspartame, led to a higher likelihood of weight gain than those who consume normal sugars, even if the subjects studied had a similar total caloric intake.
Part of the problem is the way your body reacts to these sweeteners. When you eat something sweet, your brain normally releases dopamine. Not only does it make you feel good, it also releases a hormone called leptin that tells your brain that you are full as soon as you have enough calories. This will make your hunger disappear under normal circumstances.
All this changes when you eat something sweet that does not contain calories, like artificial sweeteners. Sweetener activates your brain’s amusement path as usual, but if there are not enough calories to turn it off, your body stays hungry and craves carbohydrates.
The science is clear: if you’re trying to lose weight, artificial sweeteners are not the helpful tool that you believe they are. In fact, they will probably have the opposite effect. Slowly reduce your sugar intake and you’ll be surprised how much better the food tastes when you’ve retrained your taste buds – and you could finally see the pounds melt away.
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