They’ve been adorned with packaging that connotes wellbeing. They’ve been marketed as healthy alternatives to sugar. They’ve been endorsed by flat-stomached celebrities.
But are artificial sweeteners as good as advertised? The answer depends on whose opinion you value — those of celebrities or those of highly trained scientists.
You already know what the celebrities think. Here’s a look at why researchers say artificial sweeteners can actually cause you to gain weight.
Researchers: Artificial Sweeteners Cause Weight Gain
Artificial sweeteners are supposed to help you lose weight, but according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas San Antonio, they do the complete opposite — and worse.
Researchers found that middle-aged people who drink diet soda significantly increase their risk of becoming overweight later on in life. The researchers followed 600 people of normal weight for eight years and discovered that those who drank one diet soda a day were 65 percent more likely to be overweight by the end of the study.
Even worse, those who drank soda loaded with artificial sweetener were more likely to be overweight eight years later than who drank regular soda.
Researchers at Purdue University have done two studies that demonstrate just how damaging the chemicals in artificial sweeteners can be to your body.
In one study, researchers found that artificial sweeteners get in the way of your body’s natural ability to keep track of calories based on the sweetness of the food you eat. In another study, researchers found that consuming foods loaded with artificial sweeteners impair your body’s natural ability feel full.
So what do the researchers at Purdue University say? They say to avoid artificial sweeteners if you’re trying to lose weight.
What If Losing Weight Isn’t The Goal?
What if your goal is to simply live healthily? If living healthy is what you’re trying to do, you’re going to want to avoid artificial sweeteners and their diabetes-inducing qualities.
You see, artificial sweeteners inhibit your body’s ability to release leptin, which lets your brain know that you're full. This usually happens when you eat sugar, but it doesn’t when sugar is replaced by artificial sweeteners.
In addition, your body reacts to the artificial sweetener as if it’s sugar and releases insulin to help you process it. Low leptin combined with high insulin levels can lead to diabetes.
So there you have it: Not only can artificial sweeteners cause weight gain, they can also do serious harm to your overall health.
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