Trying To Lose Weight? Doctors Say Skip The Artificial Sweeteners

When many people start a diet, they often begin by replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners.

Food and beverage companies often promote artificial sweeteners as a healthy option, but recent research shows chemical sugar substitutes are not good for overall health.

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Rather than help people lose weight, some recent studies show that chemical sugar substitutes increase the risk for obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

“It happens because artificial sweeteners are anywhere from a few hundred to 13,000 times as sweet as regular sugar and it sends signals once it hits the tongue to the brain to make you hungry, to slow your metabolism and to store calories,” said Dr. Mark Hyman with the Cleveland Clinic.

Added sugars, also known as free sugars, are removed from their original source and added to foods as a sweetener or preservative so that they can be stored on shelves longer.

A 20 ounce bottle of soda contains 15 teaspoons of added sugars, which is equivalent to 15 sugar packets. Comparatively, most people would likely put one or two teaspoons of sugar in their morning coffee.

Research shows that artificial sweeteners may change gut bacteria, which can lead to inflammation, insulin resistance and pre-diabetes.

Hyman recommends avoiding artificial sweeteners and switching back to sugar for sweetening food and drinks.