TUESDAY TIP – TOO SWEET? THE PROBLEM WITH SUGAR SUBSTITUTES
All sweet tastes, whether real sugar or sugar substitutes, act upon the same sweet taste receptors of the tongue and trigger similar brain neural reward pathways, maintaining sugar addictions and cravings. That means regular consumption of sweet substances, even with no calories, will maintain cravings for sweet tastes. People who routinely use artificial sweeteners may start to find less intensely sweet foods, such as fruit, less appealing and non-sweet foods, such as vegetables, unappealing.
No-calorie sweeteners like Stevia and Erythritol, are typically added to foods that mimic or replace traditional high-sugary foods. This can promote snacking and extra consumption of desserts and treats, dramatically raising the risk that you may eat more than you need and keeping you tied to old patterns of your former high-carb eating contributing to weight gain.
In other words, the use of artificial sweeteners can make you neglect healthy, filling, unprocessed and highly nutritious foods while consuming more artificially flavoured foods with less nutritional value. Research also suggests that artificial sweeteners could lead to glucose intolerance by interfering with gut bacteria.
The best strategy for achieving optimal health and weight loss may be learning to enjoy real foods in their unsweetened state.