Artificial Sweeteners.

I really never go for the Diet Soda.  It tastes terrible and not that it makes me sick, it just doesnt sit right in my stomach.  If I’m going to get a soda it’s going to be the real thing, Sugar and All.

Over the last couple of years I had heard some negative things about artificial sweeteners but never really thought anything about it because I never drank them.

Then I came across some information on the interweb that confirms some suspicions I’ve had about artificial sweeteners.

“A 2005 study by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio showed that, rather than promoting weight loss, the use of diet drinks was a marker for increasing weight gain and obesity. Those that consumed diet soda were more likely to gain weight than those that consumed naturally-sweetened soda. Sharon P. Fowler, MPH, who conducted the study, posited that it is not the diet drinks but something associated with their use that is linked to weight gain, perhaps simply that use of diet drinks increased as a person noticed that he or she was gaining weight. Fowler also speculated that perhaps giving the body the “taste” of energy-rich foods triggers a search for the real thing, or, as nutrition expert Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, put it, “People think they can just fool the body. But maybe the body isn’t fooled. If you are not giving your body that food energy you promised it, maybe your body will retaliate by wanting more energy.”” (From Wikipedia)

“Artificial sugars are worse than normal sugars because they fool the brain into thinking you just ate some sugar. When you eat artificial sweeteners, the brain sends out chemicals to combat the sugar the way it usually does. But it can’t find the sugar in the body because you didn’t really eat it. So the brain sends off another chemical that tells the body to create a craving. The body has all the chemicals to fight sugar but no sugar to fight, so you start craving carbohydrates, which will metabolize into sugar, so you will feel satisfied. People who drink diet sodas find it very difficult to lose weight, because the false sugar stimulates cravings, which causes them to eat more.”

So the benefits of drinking diet soda or using artificial sweeteners in your coffee (0 or very low calories) are essentially negated by a carb craving it induces after ingested.  People use these products as substitutes to regular sugar and end up wanting to eat more. It’s a vicious cycle.

I guess the moral of the story is that you really shouldn’t have too much of either regular sugar or artificial sweeteners but I’ll stick with the real sugar.

This also calls into question some of the light beers I occasionally am handed at a bar or pull out of a cooler at a BBQ.  I happen to hate Miller Lite.  Can’t tell you how much I hate it.  Never really had a problem with Michelob Ultra and never had MGD 64, however, does this same principal apply to these light beers.  Are we sacrificing some carbohydrates in the beer and end up getting hosed some other way?  The research continues….

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