Which Is Worse: When the Real Things Trump Diet Food
Think you're choosing a healthier option? Think again.
The Sweet Treat That Tricks Your Taste Buds
Artificial sweeteners—aspartame, saccharin, Splenda, Truvia, whatever you use to take the place of sugar—are referred to as "high-intensity sweeteners" by Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh
, New York–based registered dieticians. They cite research that shows that these chemicals can condition your taste buds to crave super-sweet flavors
; once your palate is conditioned to artificial sweeteners, regular sweet foods (like antioxidant-rich berries) will feel like going back to regular TV after watching everything in 3-D. (The advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest also warns against long-term use of saccharine and aspartame because of conflicting studies regarding their safety
.) Clarke and Jarosh remind us that a teaspoon of sugar has only 16 calories and more than enough sweetness for normal 2-D taste buds (just remember to limit your intake to 6 teaspoons per day of added sugar
, per the American Heart Association).