Artificial sweeteners don’t do what they promise. Studies show that artificial sweetners are as bad or worse than natural sugar in trying to control weight(1). They create a guilt free feeling and so people over-indulge. This causes the palate to become used to ever-increasing sweetness in the diet.
Artificial sweeteners increase your risk for diabetes and obesity. They slow down the metabolism, triggering the desire for more food. A study in rats showed that their desire for food increased as their consumption of artificial sweetners increased.
Artificial sweeteners are addictive: It’s not your imagination: you have one diet soda and then want another, finding it hard to stop. A study showed that of rats offered diet sugar or cocaine, 94% chose the diet sugar(2). Both substances light up the same region in the brain that perceives pleasure. A 2017 study showed that regular consumption of diet soda increases the risk of Type II Diabetes (3).
Artificial sweeteners change brain chemistry and metabolism. Your brain thinks it’s eating real sugar. Your body triggers its response to sugar by increasing insulin, the fat storage hormone. This increase in insulin slows down your metabolism. Then you’re hungry for sugar and carbohydrate-dense foods, like pasta, bread and pizza. These foods are responsable for belly fat. It’s ironic, but often times those who consume the most diet foods are those who are overweight or even obese. And they have a hard time giving them up. The food industry touts them as « healthy » because they have no sugar. So people think they’re doing the right thing by consuming them instead of foods with sugar. I did.
- The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine : “Gain weight by “going diet?” Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings.” Neuroscience 2010 Qing Yang; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2892765/
- “Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward”: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1931610/
- European Association for the Study of Diabetes, Abstract #193, Lisbon 2017: “Impact of artificial sweetners on glycaemic control in healthy humans.” https://www.easd.org/virtualmeeting/home.html#!resources/impact-of-artificial-sweeteners-on-glycaemic-control-in-healthy-humans