Artificial sweeteners are substances which are used to imitate the taste of sugar in foods. People striving hard to lose weight and maintain normal blood sugar levels use artificial sweeteners to sweeten what they eat and drink. Diet drinks have gained much popularity in recent years. But do artificial sweeteners really help lose weight?

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It is surprising that various recent studies show that artificial sweeteners are anything but good news for weight loss. You may actually impede weight loss by using artificial sweeteners. According to the scientists, people who are trying to lose weight should be aware of the amount of artificially sweetened foods and drinks they consume daily.

In a study conducted by Drs Susan Swithers and Terry Davidson, two psychologists based at the Ingestive Behavior Research Center at Purdue University, rats were put in two groups. One group was given yogurt sweetened with glucose (equivalent to table sugar, containing 15 calories a teaspoon), and the other group was given yogurt sweetened with zero-calorie saccharin. The rats that had the saccharin-sweetened yogurt consumed more calories, put on more weight, gained more body fat, and did not cut back on their calorie consumption in the longer term.

Common artificial sweeteners are made out of materials such as aspartame, cyclamate, saccharide etc. The problem with taking these non-caloric sweeteners is that the body senses them through the exact same mechanisms used to sense sugar when consumed. When you consume regular sugar, you will feel full after your meal. Your body sends signals to the brain for preparing the pancreas to start secreting insulin to remove the glucose from the blood stream. But when you take artificial sweeteners, the body still secretes insulin although there is no extra glucose added from them.

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Since there is no added glucose, the secreted insulin will remove what little blood glucose you have – leaving you with low blood sugar. This leads to food cravings. As a result, you feel hungrier, crave more sweets and end up overeating.

Not only does the body release insulin, it will also release leptin. Insulin and leptin are the major hormones that regulate your metabolism. Over time, not only will your body release too much insulin, but also too much leptin. Leptin plays an important role in appetite control, metabolism and weight loss. Your body will become resistant to both insulin and leptin and eventually your body will not “hear” your body’s messages to stop eating. Your body will crave sweets and carbohydrates and start storing fat, setting you up for diabetes, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.

Evelin work May 10

Evelin Liddell is a Homeopath and Fertility Specialist with over 15 years experience in the natural health field mainly working with women and children.

Evelin has great success and built an excellent reputation with infertility, hormonal problems, glandular fever and children’s health (asthma, colds, tonsillitis, ear infections, fevers, colic, behavioural problems).

Evelin also has a special interest in nutrition and is currently the only metabolic balance® coach in Queensland, Australia. Bracken Ridge Natural Therapies, www.brnt.com.au

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