Oops! Here we go again, thinking we are doing the right thing, but instead it is just making us fatter. Darn!
A study done at Purdue University and published in 2008 by the American Psychological Association called, A Role for Sweet Taste: Calorie Predictive Relations in Energy Regulation by Rats says:
“Animals may use sweet taste to predict the caloric contents of food. Eating sweet noncaloric substances may degrade this predictive relationship, leading to positive energy balance through increased food intake and/or diminished energy expenditure. These experiments were designed to test the hypothesis that experiences that reduce the validity of sweet taste as a predictor of the caloric or nutritive consequences of eating may contribute to deficits in the regulation of energy by reducing the ability of sweet-tasting foods that contain calories to evoke physiological responses that underlie tight regulation.
Adult male Sprague–Dawley rats were given differential experience with a sweet taste that either predicted increased caloric content (glucose) or did not predict increased calories (saccharin). We found that reducing the correlation between sweet taste and the caloric content of foods using artificial sweeteners in rats resulted in increased caloric intake, increased body weight, and increased adiposity, as well as diminished caloric compensation and blunted thermic responses to sweet-tasting diets. These results suggest that consumption of products containing artificial sweeteners may lead to increased body weight and obesity by interfering with fundamental homeostatic, physiological processes.“
So bottom line? Consuming artificial sweeteners potentially will mess up our internal signals and ultimately cause us to consume more and become more (bigger that is).
Here is an article in Science Daily on another study done by The School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, which was presented just this month (June 2011) that shows:
“Diet soft drink users, as a group, experienced 70 percent greater increases in waist circumference compared with non-users. Frequent users, who said they consumed two or more diet sodas a day, experienced waist circumference increases that were 500 percent greater than those of non-users”
Unfortunately, the real answer is we have to de-sweetenize (is that a even a word?) ourselves. We cannot just find a substitute for our sweet tooth, we need to adjust our sweet tooth. The good news is once you de-sweetenize yourself and your system is back to normal, all those cravings disappear naturally.
I was addicted to diet soda for years. Looking back at pictures from those days, I was always overweight. To quit, I started drinking iced tea (unsweetened) and then over time moved to good old fashioned water and love it. If I can do it you can do it!