Are you or your kids hungry all the time? Maybe you don’t feel satisfied after eating a sugar-free snack or meal. Well, the research shows that diet sweeteners increase hunger.
Here’s why you don’t feel full …
Cephalic Phase Insulin Response
Aspartame has been shown in laboratory studies to create changes in insulin levels called a “cephalic phase insulin response.” A cephalic response is a digestive reaction triggered in the brain by the taste, smell, sight or even the thought of food. Your entire digestive system, from your mouth to your colon, can be affected by these messages.
Changes in cephalic phase responses such as salivation, gastric acid production and liver metabolism can alter normal appetite.
Michael G. Tordoff, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, University of California at Davis, published findings where aspartame in chewing gum increased hunger through oral stimulation from the added chemicals in the gum. (Tordoff, Michael G., Physiology and Behavior, 47: 555-559, 1990.)
His study showed a gender-related sweetness response, which explains why some people feel “ravenous” after consuming sugar-free products, while others do not.
Another study by Tordoff and Friedman showed that test animals had the urge to eat more food after ingesting artificial sweeteners, lasting up to ninety minutes. They documented that when blood levels for insulin production were normal, the animals fed aspartame consumed more food than the ones who did not eat the artificial sweeteners.
The studies proved that:
*Aspartame penetrates the brain;
*This suppresses serotonin;
*Then, you crave carbohydrates.
A sweet taste triggers your brain to prepare for incoming calories and carbohydrates (usually from sugar). When you fake out your body with fake sugars, and no nutrients are delivered, the body activates a “hunger response”, which creates a nagging desire for food.
Besides affecting insulin, serotonin and your body’s hunger response, chemical sweeteners also increase cravings by altering your blood sugar levels. This can be dangerous to people with diabetes or epilepsy, and can cause fluid retention, giving the body a puffy and bloated appearance. This also increases cellulite.
This proves that your brain retains the urge to eat when your taste buds are stimulated, especially when no “real” nutrients have entered your body.
Because aspartame is a neuro-excitotoxin (a chemical that over-stimulates brain cells), the brain gets “wound up” and this triggers a false appetite. This may or may not change the taste of your food, but your body becomes over-stimulated and you then tend to eat more and binge-snack because you are hungry all of the time.
Those extra calories you save with that diet cola won’t make much difference if you eat chocolate chip cookies three hours later because you’re hungry. If constantly using diet sweeteners is actually increasing your appetite, don’t use them.
A proper diet and exercise are more beneficial in losing body fat and maintaining your weight.
Even if you believe that the artificial sweeteners help your dieting, is it worth being hungry all the time?