In recent decades, the artificial sweetener industry has grown considerably. Going from diet coke to low sugar yogurts, it seems that all the foods we consume nowadays are available in a "diet" form. However, does the word "zero calorie" or "low in calories" mean that you can consume these artificially sweetened products as much as you want?
Obesity continues to increase
It would be logical to think that by increasing our consumption of these "diet" products, the rates of overweight and obesity should decrease. On the other hand, more and more studies are showing the opposite and suggest that sweeteners are not linked to weight control and have little to no impact on weight loss.
Artificial sugars can make you eat more
Often, those who consume sweeteners eventually eat more calories from other forms of food to compensate for this lack in the body. The lack of calories contained in sweeteners can actually be the reason behind this tendency to overeat afterwards. In some cases, it can also be an unconscious decision. Because we choose a low-calorie product, we allow ourselves to eat "a little more" afterwards!
Artificial sugars can affect your appreciation of natural foods
Another problem is that they are excessively sweet. For example, aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar and sucralose (Splenda), 600 times sweeter. The more we eat sweet products, whether they are sweetened naturally or artificially, the more we want to eat them. If you get used to sugar at this level, food that is naturally sweet, like fruit, can start to lose its pleasant flavor and we will constantly want to add sweet products to our meals to get our dose.
Can I adapt to more natural flavors?
Just like with natural sugars, moderation is key when it comes to sweeteners. One should not use fake sugars thinking they are miracle products and that they are the solution for weight loss. What would be more beneficial? Gradually reducing the consumption of all sugary foods. Instead of choosing a flavored yogurt that mostly contains a lot of added sugar and very little fruit, go for a plain, low-fat yogurt and add your favorite fruit. It's time to rediscover the natural sugar of a strawberry or even a red bell pepper, and really be able to savor it. Once in a while, spoil yourself with a piece of chocolate cake, without guilt!