Why Diet Foods Make You Fat

It seems counterintuitive but the more we eat many diet foods and beverages, the harder it can be lose and maintain our weight. One of the key culprits is artificial sweeteners. Studies show that artificial sweeteners may confuse the body’s regulatory systems that control hunger. Whenever we eat, our bodies are trained to expect calories, but it’s not getting them when we eat zero-calorie sweeteners. The lack of calories with artificial sweeteners causes us to crave more actually leading us to eat more and pack on the pounds over time. Additionally, since artificial sweeteners are 7,000 times sweeter than natural sugars, they can desensitize our tastes buds. This is problematic because it causes us to want sweeter (higher calorie) foods to satisfy our cravings.

But the problems with artificial sweeteners don’t stop with weight issues. Research is currently showing that long-term consumption of artificial sweeteners is disruptive and damaging to anti-oxidant status in the brain. In particular, aspartame consumption over time can lead to an imbalance in the antioxidant/pro-oxidant status in the brain, mainly through the mechanism involving the glutathione-dependent system. The effects of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame on brain function are yet to be fully understood but research has concluded that the metabolites of artificial sweeteners can cause oxidative stress to different regions of the brain. With Alzheimer’s, dementia and neurological conditions on the rise, why take a risk?

If you feel that you need to use a low calorie sweetener, try stevia. It is a very low calorie natural sweetener that does not seem to have the problems associated with Saccharine, Aspartame and Sucralose.

Dr. Shayla Waddell

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