But most of us are accustomed to sweet foods, and don’t want to live our lives without them.
For this reason, various artificial chemicals have been invented to replicate the effects of sugar.
These are substances that can stimulate the sweet taste receptors on the tongue.
They usually have no calories and don’t have the harmful metabolic effects of added sugar.
These chemicals are known as “artificial” sweeteners… as opposed to “natural” sweeteners like sugar or honey.
These chemicals are very sweet, and they are often added to foods and beverages that are then marketed as weight loss friendly… which makes sense given that they are virtually calorie free.
The evidence regarding artificial sweeteners is actually fairly mixed and the use of these substances is highly controversial.
So… what is the truth about artificial sweeteners? How do they affect appetite, body weight and our risk for obesity-related disease?
Let’s have a look…
There Are Many Different Types of Artificial Sweeteners
There are numerous different artificial sweeteners available and the chemical structure varies between them.
What they all have in common, is that they are incredibly effective at stimulating the sweet taste receptors on the tongue.
In fact, most are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, gram for gram.
Here is a table showing the most common artificial sweeteners, how sweet they are relative to sugar, and brand names they are sold under:
Then there are other low-calorie sweeteners that are processed from natural ingredients and therefore don’t count as “artificial.”
This includes the natural zero-calorie sweetener stevia, as well as sugar alcohols like xylitol, erythritol, sorbitol and mannitol. Sugar alcohols tend to have similar sweetness as sugar but less than half as many calories.
This article is strictly about the artificial sweeteners… but you can read about the natural ones here.
Bottom Line: There are many different types of artificial sweeteners. The most common ones are aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, neotame and acesulfame potassium.
Artificial Sweeteners and Appetite Regulation
Animals, including humans, don’t just seek food to satisfy energy needs.
We also seek so-called “reward” from food.
While artificial sweeteners provide sweet taste, many researchers believe that the lack of calories prevents complete activation of the food reward pathway.
Magnetic imaging in 5 men showed that sugar consumption decreased signalling in the hypothalamus, the appetite regulator of the brain (9).
This response was not seen with consumption of aspartame, suggesting that the brain does not register artificial sweeteners as having a satiating effect.
It may be that sweetness without the calories leads to further food seeking behavior, adding to your overall caloric intake.
Bottom Line: Some researchers believe that artificial sweeteners do not satisfy our biological sugar cravings in the same manner as sugar, and could therefore lead to increased food intake. However, the evidence is mixed.
Sweeteners and Sugar Cravings
Another argument opposing artificial sweeteners is that the unnatural sweetness encourages sugar cravings and sugar dependence.
This idea is logical considering that flavor preferences in humans can be trained with repeated exposure (13).
While this is not proven, it does seem to make sense. The more we eat of sweet foods, the more we want them.
Bottom Line: The strong sweetness of artificial sweeteners may be causing us to become dependent on sweet flavor. This could increase our desire for sweet foods in general.
Observational Studies on Artificial Sweeteners and Body Weight
Many observational studies have been conducted on artificial sweeteners.
These kinds of studies take a group of people and ask them about various factors, such as what they eat.
Then many years later, they can see whether a particular variable (such as artificial sweetener use) was associated with either an increased or decreased risk of disease.
These types of studies don’t prove anything, but they can help us find patterns that warrant further investigation.
Several of these studies have paradoxically found that artificially sweetened drinks are linked to weight gain rather than weight loss (16).
However, the most recent review, which summarized the findings of 9 observational studies, found that artificial sweeteners were associated with a slightly higher BMI, but not with body weight or fat mass (17).
I should point out that this study was industry sponsored. It doesn’t mean that the results are invalid, just that we should be extra skeptical because the funding source of a study can often skew the results and the interpretation of the data (18).
That being said… correlation does not imply causation, so these studies don’t prove anything one way or the other.
Fortunately, the effects of artificial sweeteners on body weight have also been studied in numerous controlled trials (real science).
Bottom Line: Some observational studies have found artificial sweeteners to be linked with increased weight, but the evidence is mixed.
Controlled Trials on Artificial Sweeteners
One of the largest trials looked at 641 children aged 4-11 years who had to drink either 250 ml (8.5 ounces) of an artificially sweetened drink, or the same amount of a sugary drink every day for 18 months.
The children who were assigned the artificially sweetened drinks gained significantly less weight and less fat than the sugar-drinking children (19).
The most recent review of 15 clinical trials found that replacing sugary drinks with their artificially sweetened versions can result in modest weight loss of about 1.8 lbs (0.8 kg), on average (17).
So… according to the best available evidence, artificial sweeteners appear to be mildly effective for weight loss.
They certainly don’t seem to cause weight gain, at least not on average.
Bottom Line: Numerous controlled trials have studied the effects of artificial sweeteners on body weight. On average, replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with diet beverages may cause weight loss of about 2 pounds.
Artificial Sweeteners and Metabolic Health
All of this being said, health is about way more than just weight.
There are some observational studies (again, studies that don’t prove anything) linking artificial sweetener consumption to metabolic disease.
This includes an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Another study found that these beverages were linked to a 34% greater risk of metabolic syndrome (26).
This is supported by a recent high-profile study on artificial sweeteners, showing that they caused a disruption in the gut bacterial environment and induced glucose intolerance in both rats and humans (27).
Whether artificial sweeteners cause problems by disrupting the gut bacteria needs to be studied further, but it appears that there may be some cause for concern.
Take Home Message
Replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners may be helpful in reducing body weight, but only very slightly at best.
Their intake certainly does not seem to cause weight gain, at least not in the short-term.
At the end of the day, artificial sweeteners are not “toxic” like some people make them out to be, but I’m not convinced that they’re perfectly safe either.
The research goes both ways… and the decision about using them must come down to the individual.
If you’re healthy, happy and satisfied with the results you’re getting and you happen to use artificial sweeteners… then there’s no need to change anything. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.
However… if you suffer from cravings, poor blood sugar control or any mysterious health problem, avoiding artificial sweeteners may be one of many things to consider.
Different strokes for different folks.
Editors note: Click here to Find a Local Farmer
FREE BOOK DOWNLOAD (Limited Offer)
Do You Know Your Body’s Most Important Weight Loss Secret?
By J. Davis III
Tags: HEALING | HEALTHY FATS | REMEDIES
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
Secret #1: Enjoy real food. Don’t fall for the lie that you have to deprive yourself to lose weight.
Secret #2: stop eating out. You will automatically eat less without even noticing.
Then start detoxing your body with tasty, nourishing smoothies that are just as easy on your wallet as they are easy to make.
Because a single day of enjoying Liz’ smoothies demonstrated the radical power of her superfood-packed red smoothies to make me feel incredibly good.
Now prepare yourself for one of the biggest weight loss secrets there is. A secret that, when you use it properly, can transform your body and your health.
You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.
Here’s how it works...
“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”
“So… what’s going on with me? Why am I losing weight but not going hungry?”
Liz paused, then dropped the bombshell.
Your body is designed to burn fat. You just have to let it.
“What? I thought we were designed to store fat?!?” We were Skyping and I was practically shouting. Then I heard Liz say…
What good is a fat reserve if you can’t burn it?
Liz continued: “You’re drinking smoothies packed with phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that pull toxins out of you like a tractor beam. Allowing your body to burn those toxin-filled fat stores… and releasing tremendous amounts of stored energy.”
So that’s why I’m losing weight without going hungry.
Watch Liz’ free presentation. It’s packed with revolutionary weight loss information—information that works. Because it’s based on how nature works.
Click the button below only if you want to wear smaller clothes, breathe easier, move more freely and just plain feel better.
Because when you click here to watch Liz’ life-changing presentation, you’ll learn
- Which calories help you lose weight…and which ones help you gain it…
- The “diet” foods…some of them vegetables…that lead to weight gain and diabetes…
- The “low-fat” foods that can dramatically increase your risk of cancer.
- And the superfoods that rescue your body from this assault by detoxing you…
Revitalizing your metabolism so you can
Shed pounds as well as toxins, renew your body and reset your internal clock by up to 7 years.
Because until now, the Red Smoothie Detox Factor has been available only to Liz’ private clients. But now that she’s perfected it to work for almost everyone, almost every time, Liz is sharing it with rest of us so we can feel better and look better.
Get Red Smoothie Detox Factor before the price goes back up.
Because Liz offers a ridiculously good guarantee. You have 60 days to decide you love the Red Smoothie Detox Factor. If you don’t love it—for any reason, or even no reason at all —Liz will refund your money. 100%. No questions asked.
Natural Diabetes Treatment Works Better Than Prescription Drugs *PROOF*
By Richard Neal
Tags: HEALING | REMEDIES | PREVENTION
According the latest statistics, diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes in the United States is reaching epidemic levels:
Total: 29.1 million people or 9.3% of the population have diabetes.
Diagnosed: 21.0 million people.
Undiagnosed: 8.1 million people (27.8% of people with diabetes are undiagnosed).
Source: CDC Website
Drugs Treat Symptoms, Not Disease
Pharmaceutical companies have been trying to shut these doctors down simply for revealing the truth about diabetes.
Scientific studies have proven that type 2 diabetes can be reversed naturally - but this information has been hidden and suppressed for decades.
Diabetics can normalize blood sugar, and be taken off all medication and insulin injections completely naturally.
Doctors at the International Council for Truth in Medicine are revealing the truth about diabetes in a shocking new online presentation.
In 3 Weeks, 71% Type 2 Diabetics Were Taken off ALL Medication
96% of patients were able to stop all insulin injections and 81% achieved complete relief of painful neuropathy.
Groundbreaking research published by the University of Kentucky, University of California and Newscastle University prove that type 2 diabetes CAN be reversed.
Blood sugar normalizes... neuropathy pain goes away...
Doctors at the International Council for Truth in Medicine have perfected these techniques and helped tens of thousands of their patients end the need for medication and insulin injections 100% naturally.
You don't have to suffer anymore, Learn the truth about your diabetes and stop this disease dead in its tracks right now.
Groundbreaking New Research
Doctors at the International Council for Truth in Medicine are revealing the truth about diabetes that has been suppressed for over 21 years.
Last year they helped over 17,542 type 2 diabetics end the need for prescription drugs, insulin injections and blood sugar monitoring.
This year they're on track to help over 30,000.
In just a few weeks, 96% of their patients are able to stop ALL diabetes medication and insulin injections.
No more neuropathy pain, pricking your finger, or the need for expensive medication.
Learn about this groundbreaking new research here:
#1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat
By J. Davis III
Tags: HEALING | PREVENTION
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat.
This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
P.S. Make sure you check out the next page to get to know the 10 simple moves that will bring vitality back into your life!
==> Click here to discover which “hidden survival muscle” will help you boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance permanently!
More Health Resources:
- "Red" Smoothie Helps Alabama Girl Shed 80lbs!
- Thе Fastest Wау Tо Lose Weight In 4 Weeks
- #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat
- Your Birth Date + Name - Free Report
- The "Instant Switch" Law Of Attraction
- The 3 reasons you should NEVER eat wheat -- Yes, even "whole wheat"
- [PROOF] Reverse Diabetes with a “Pancreas Jumpstart”
- Why Some People LOOK Fat that Aren't
- Diabetes Destroyer System
- His wife REFUSED to let them amputate his legs!
- Unlock Your Hip Flexors
- Doctors Reversed Diabetes in Three Weeks