The average American consumes 24 pounds of artificial sweeteners each year, a habit that could actually be making you heavier. Studies show how these substances may confuse the body’s regulatory systems that control hunger. Whenever you eat, your body is trained to expect calories, but it’s not getting them when you eat zero-calorie sweeteners. You end up craving more food and not feeling full. What’s more, artificial sweeteners are up to 7000 times sweeter than natural sugars and this can desensitize taste buds. Learn more about the link between artificial sweeteners and weigh gain at DoctorOz.com.
Beyond the commonly used serving packets, artificial sweeteners are often hidden in everyday items not advertised as diet foods such as cereal, vitamins, sauces and even baby food. Look for these key words on food labels to spot artificial substitutes:
- Neotame (used in stable baked goods)
- Acesulfame (found in diet sodas)
Break the Habit
- Consume no more than two servings (two packets or one diet soda) of artificial sweeteners per day.
- Try combining a half a teaspoon of your preferred artificial sweetener with a teaspoon of raw sugar. Then eventually wean yourself off the artificial sweetener.
- Choose natural alternatives such as honey or agave. Or try coconut sap syrup, which has a low-glycemic index and just 10 calories per teaspoon. It also contains B vitamins, potassium and amino acids. Because these are all quite sweet tasting, you’ll find you don’t need to use much of them. Coconut syrup is available at health food stores for about $7.
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