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Have you ever considered the fact that the diet sweeteners keep you hungry, and that your hunger may simply be thirst--for water that is, not drinking more diet soda?
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 starving - again or worse yet, consuming more diet products. If constantly using diet sweeteners is actually increasing your appetite, why use them? Common sense tells me that proper diet and exercise are more beneficial than dieting for losing body fat and maintaining a low body weight. Even if you believe that artificial sweeteners help your dieting, is this worth risking your health?
Drinking water can often satisfy that chronic hunger according to Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, M.D. In his book, Your Body's Many Cries for Water, he writes, "Many persons confuse their thirst as hunger. Thinking they have consumed enough 'water' from their soda, they assume they are hungry and begin to eat more than their body needs for food. In due time, dehydration will cause a gradual gain in weight from overeating as a direct result of confusion of thirst and hunger sensations.
"It is primitive and simplistic thinking that one could easily lace water with all sorts of pleasure-enhancing chemicals and substitute these fluids for the natural and clean water that the human body needs. Some of these chemicals, caffeine, aspartame, saccharin and alcohol, through their constant lopsided effect on the brain ... [program] the body chemistry with results opposite to the body's natural design."
Ellington Darden, PhD, states in his book, A Flat Stomach ASAP, that super hydration through sipping large amounts of water each day is an important dietary guideline.
Rumor has it that the diet sweeteners actually cause weight gain because you never feel satisfied or full. That's correct, and scientific research has proven why:
- A sweet taste triggers your brain to expect calories and carbohydrates (incoming sugar). When you fake out your body with artificial sweeteners and real nutrients are never delivered, your body activates a "hunger response," which creates a constant need for food. Hence, you stay hungry because your "hunger response" never shuts off.
- Laboratory animals showed the urge to eat more food up to ninety minutes after ingesting artificial sweeteners. Researchers documented that when blood levels for insulin production were normal (high levels of insulin are believed to be the cause of hunger), the animals that were fed chemical sweeteners consumed more food than the ones who did not eat artificial sweeteners.
- Besides affecting insulin, serotonin and your body's hunger response, chemical sweeteners also increase cravings by altering your blood sugar. This can be dangerous to people with diabetes or epilepsy and can cause fluid retention, giving the body a puffy and bloated appearance, and it increases cellulite, too.
- Most artificial sweeteners enhance appetite, which increases short-term food intake. Researchers report, "After ingestion of aspartame, the test volunteers were left with a residual hunger compared to what they reported after eating glucose (sugar). This lingering hunger led to increased food consumption."
- Your brain retains the urge to eat when the taste buds are stimulated without "real" nutrients having actually entered the body.
So, the next time you think that you want a "sugar-free snack" or another diet cola, drink a glass of water instead and see if your hunger goes away. I bet it does. Then go snack on a carrot.
Posted June 2010 | Permanent Link
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