Artificial Sweeteners: Keep You Wanting More
Artificial sweeteners such as saccharin (also known as Sweet n’ Low), aspartame (think Diet Coke), and sucralose (Splenda) are anywhere from 200-700 times sweeter than regular table sugar yet are considered zero or low calorie and promoted for controlling blood sugar levels and helping aid weight loss. For some individuals, the consumption of these sweeteners can actually be more harmful than beneficial. The issue comes down to our brains. While drinking diet soda may seem “healthier” than regular soda, some people find they crave unhealthy foods even more. It’s as if the reward system in the brain is never fully satisfied, therefore increasing food cravings. For others, the fact that these sweeteners are so incredibly sweet stimulates the brain even more so than natural sweeteners (sugar, honey, maple syrup) which keeps them reaching for that diet soda throughout the whole day. The biggest issue: regular consumption of artificial sweeteners can cause people to eat more and crave more. As always, everything is better in moderation. If you feel like artificial sweeteners prevent you from moderating your unhealthy food choices, try cutting back. Anything sweet can be addictive as it stimulates our taste buds and brains. Finding the right balance is the key.