Hungrier because of diet soda? How about multi-packs of artificial sweetener in your Dunkin Donuts?
A study published in the last couple of years showed that drinking soda, diet and regular, increased abdominal fat – that yukky fat that congregates around our intestines and stomach, deep inside. A larger than normal waistline, combined with other factors like low HDL (good cholesterol), high LDL (bad cholesterol), high triglycerides, pre-hypertension (blood pressure that is bordering on high), and high blood sugar are risk factors of metabolic syndrome. Having 3 of the 5 puts you at risk for heart disease and diabetes.
Research is crazy wicked not-so-straightforward. One review in 2009 resulted in stating artificial sweeteners may increase appetite. The same review reported if the artificial sweetener is eaten in combination with or in foods with calories does not stimulate appetite. And, appetizers using sugar subs didn’t increase appetite at the meal.
Bottom line (until we can figure it all out) is sugar subs can help you save calories when you want something sweet. For a person with diabetes, it can help regulate blood sugar. Having a sweet one to two times a week isn’t the end-all be-all for those without a weight problem. Yet, multiple sweet cravings whether artificially sweetened or not leads to weight gain (there are, after all, other ingredients in desserts and processed snacks). At the end of the day, it’s wise to limit sugar and sugar sub consumption overall – moderation, moderation, moderation. Our tastebuds, geared toward being delighted with carbs, the preferred energy source, will be quite content with sweet potatoes, peaches and brown rice.