The answer may be false.† According to early studies, the artificial stuff could actually lead to overeating.
Why isnít it definitely false? While preliminary studies indicate fake sweets aren’t good for you, there’s a lack of scientific studies to validate the conclusion.† However, we recommend you donít wait to heed the news.
Your Body Knows the Difference
In a recent study, lab animals that were fed saccharin-sweetened yogurt consumed more calories — and gained more weight — than the animals that ate the treat with sugar added. Like humans, animals are conditioned to expect lots of calories from sweet-tasting foods.
But it seems that no-calorie substitutes may put the brain and the body at odds. The brain thinks, “Yum, sweet and satisfying,” while the body thinks, “I need more.” Time will tell if the results hold true in people, but there are already human studies linking diet soda to obesity.
When You Want Something Sweet . . .
Sugar substitutes aren’t the only way to reduce calorie intake while satisfying your sweet tooth. Try one of these ideas:
Pile on the berries. These naturally sweet treats are good on cereal, in yogurt, or by themselves in a bowl. And they’re chock-full of fiber. (Did you know? Eating fiber-rich fruit could keep you from gaining weight.)
Think quality, not quantity. A few nibbles of the richest dark chocolate can be more satisfying than a pound of cheap milk chocolate. (Here’s what else dark chocolate will do for you.)
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