Sugar Substitutes and Weight Gain

Okay, you need to lose weight and so you decide that you need to cut out sugar. No more sugar in your coffee, no more soft drinks containing sugar, no more ready meals with sugar on the label. You’re on a mission, and sugar has got to go! You start to examine every label you can find to try and eliminate all sugar from your diet. But is it the right thing to do?

Despite what you may think, refined sugar is not a food, it’s a chemical. It’s extracted from plants, which contain no fiber, no minerals, no proteins, no fats and no enzymes. It is made up of empty calories.

What happens when you eat sugar? Your body borrows vital nutrients from healthy cells to metabolize this incomplete food. It raises your insulin level and the signals the brain receives when this happens are often interpreted as hunger signals. Likely as not you’ll reward these signals with more high-calorie food - usually containing sugar.

It would appear that stopping eating sugar is no bad thing. But here’s the question. Are you just going to give it up or are you going to look for a sugar substitute like aspartame or saccharin? If you are, then you should think again.

One thing that has been puzzling scientists is that despite the growth in the consumption of sugar substitutes, there has been no reduction in levels of obesity, in fact the situation has become considerably worse.

Recent studies have found that far from helping you to lose weight, artificial sweeteners actually help you to put on weight!

Scientists at Perdue University carried out experiments with animals, some of whom were fed food containing natural sweeteners and others with food containing artificial sweeteners. Over the same period those animals fed with artificial sweeteners consumed more calories and gained more weight than those fed with natural sweeteners. Why? Because our bodies have learned to associate sweetness with food loaded with calories. When the calories don’t materialize we continue to eat to make up for the shortfall in expected calorie intake - the result - weight gain. You can’t fool your body!

The message is very simple. If you want to lose weight, start to reduce your sugar intake: stop adding sugar to coffee etc., don’t eat sugary foods. Don’t use artificial sweeteners or buy foods containing sugar substitutes.


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