Thursday, August 1, 2013

Are low calorie sweeteners making you fat?

"Several studies show consuming low-calorie artificial sweeteners makes people more likely to pile on weight than reduce it, according to Joanna Blythman, Britain's leading investigative food journalist and author of What To Eat.

Our bodies are designed to process natural foods, so expect calories along with a sweet taste, she says. 

So rather than helping us consume less sugar overall, by interfering with our satisfaction signals, artificial sweeteners cause us to crave even more sweet food.

'When you eat normal sugar, your taste buds tell the brain sugar is on its way,' says personal trainer James Duigan, of Bodyism, the celebrity London gym.
 A U.S. study showed that while people who drank one to two cans of full-sugar fizzy drinks a day increased their risk of becoming overweight or obese by nearly 33 per cent over seven to eight years, those who replaced them with diet alternatives had a 65 per cent risk. 

'So when the body receives a low-calorie artificial sweetener instead of sugar and the calories don't reach the stomach, the body is confused.' Some sweeteners are even thought to change hormonal activity, which can cause you to hold on to fat and lead to weight gain. 

'Telling people to drink diet sodas could backfire as a public health message,' Professor Swithers says. 

'The message to limit sugar intake needs to be expanded to limit intake of all sweeteners, not just natural sugars.'"