If you think that substituting Sweet ‘n Low for sugar in your iced tea will help you consume fewer calories, you’re right. If you think it will assist you with your problematic sweet tooth and help you trim down, you may be dead wrong. From Forbes.com:
Artificial sweeteners may also have effects on other body parts besides the gut – like the brain. Katz points out that the new study “ignores another potential adversity of non-caloric artificial sweeteners: they are, in general, intensely sweet, and propagate a ‘sweet tooth.’ By doing that, they may cause people to favor added sugar in a wide variety of foods, and that increased glycemic load of diet may, in turn, contribute to glucose intolerance.” In other words, your brain reacts to the extreme sweetness of the compounds as if they were sugar. It’s very possible that sugar substitutes might alter the complicated cascades behind how the brain perceives hunger and satiety, perhaps even altering the kinds of food we crave.
Ever notice that those Quest bars you eat seem addictive? You find yourself craving the Cookies and Cream, but it’s cool; they’re healthy. Each bar has fewer than 200 calories. You’ll lose weight for sure. Bzzzz. From the same article:
Our relationship with our own individual mix of gut bacteria is a huge factor in determining how the food we eat affects us,” said study author Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute. Especially intriguing is the link between use of artificial sweeteners – through the bacteria in our guts – to a tendency to develop the very disorders they were designed to prevent; this calls for reassessment of today’s massive, unsupervised consumption of these substances.
The food industry dug the idea of no-calorie sweeteners. Starting in the 80’s, the market was flooded with “no sugar” and “zero calorie” versions of your favorite vices. Suddenly, you didn’t have to give up the soda or candy habit to lose weight. Ads trumpeted, “eat dessert and still lose weight!” from every aisle of the grocery store. Instead of fighting the obesity epidemic in the United States, these studies are suggesting that artificial sweeteners may be contributing to it.
A friend recently asked my advice about a cleanse she was about to partake in. Her goal, of course, was to lose weight. I asked her what was in the shakes; she handed me a Ziploc bag filled with a khaki colored powder. “It’s green, it must be healthy.” She didn’t have the contents’ original packaging, so I wasn’t able to look at an ingredients list. I asked her if I could taste it, and she was cool with it. Doing my best Sherlock Holmes impression, I scooped some powder and gave it a quick taste. The sweet flavor was overwhelming; I had no doubt there were lots of artificial sweeteners therein. Case closed.
Call me crazy, but I don’t think any product labeled with the word “cleanse” should contain artificial ingredients of any variety, but at least they don’t cause diseases….wait…but… From bostonglobe.com:
While artificial sweeteners can help some people control their calorie intake, they could set the stage for the development of diabetes. That’s the disturbing finding of a preliminary study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, though outside nutritionists say it needs to be replicated before firm conclusions can be made from the study.
Let me get this straight. Artificial sweeteners may not help us lose weight, may contribute to the obesity epidemic and could contribute to the onset of diabetes?
Pass the sugar,