Artificial Sweeteners: Good or bad for you?

Many people consume artificial sweeteners or zero calorie products because they believe it helps them to achieve weight loss or control their weight. The question is; do they really work? Ironically, some studies on rats showed that some intense sweeteners such as Saccharine stimulates appetite which leads to weight gain. While studies performed on people concluded that artificial sweetness either decreases or have no change in feeling of hunger.

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Other studies report when obese people replace sugar sweetened products (Soda, Tea etc.) with an artificially sweetened product (diet soda, protein bars) energy intake has been reported to be lower which result in great weight loss.

 In studying the effects of artificial sweeteners on food intake and body weight researchers asked different questions, such as, was the person consuming high calorie food before? And are they now trying to trade some amount of taste for less calories by using artificial sweeteners? A distinction between the experience of tasting something sweet and the physiological effect of a specific substance. Let’s look at some of the findings regarding artificial sweeteners.

A recent study reports sizable weight loss when overweight people replace sugar in their diet with artificial sweeteners. As a side benefit to weight loss, blood pressure also decreased. In contrast to these findings, People who weigh the average amount based on their weight, height and other body features reliably dampen their appetite.

Current evidence indicates that moderate intake of artificial sweeteners poses no health risk. Moderation is the key for all nutrition related scenarios. Using artificial sweeteners does not automatically lower energy intake and is not a magic bullet in fighting overweight. Successful energy intake requires informed diet and activity decisions throughout the day.  

Switching from sugar based products to artificial sweeteners for someone who rarely eats sugar inclusive products doesn’t impact weight loss and the level of health as much as someone who eats sugar based products on a more frequent basis.

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