Foods with non-caloric sweeteners are often viewed as guilt-free pleasures. Because such foods are usually lower in calories than those containing regular sugars, many have considered them a good option for people who are trying to lose weight or keep their blood glucose levels in check. However, it is not clear whether substituting non-caloric sweetener will promote weight loss or weight gain in the long term.
Guilt-free or hidden problem?
Non-caloric sweetener can cause increased craving for sweet food and drinks, which can result in weight gain. Non-caloric sweeteners might affect the body’s ability to control consumed calories. Some studies show that sugar and non-caloric sweeteners affect the brain in different ways. The human brain responds to sweetness with signals to eat more. Sweetness with no calories can cause crave more sweet foods and drinks, increase calorie intake, and eventually lead to weight gain.
Non-caloric sweeteners and weight gain?
It is also possible that people who substitute non-caloric sweetener for caloric sweetener might try to compensate by increasing their energy intake from other sources. Some surprising new research also suggests that non-caloric sweeteners might actually cause people to gain weight, by changing the microbes living in our intestines.
Edited by: Mary Tonne Schaefer, M.S.
1. Artificial Sweetener.
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthHarvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health.
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/artificial-sweeteners/, Accessed on December 8, 2015.
2. Sugar substitutes linked to obesity. Nature.
http://www.nature.com/news/sugar-substitutes-linked-to-obesity-1.15938. Accessed on December 13,2015.
The contents of this blog are for educational purposes and are not intended to replace medical advice. Please seek the advice of your physician or primary care provider if you have any questions or concerns regarding a medical condition.