Diet drinks can make you fat

diet sodaTo be honest – I do enjoy an occassional can of  Tab or Diet Coke. I know I shouldn’t – but I do. Sometimes water is just not that appealing and a glass of wine would be inappropriate because either I am going to be driving or it is only 11:00 in the morning!

There you go, a perfect example of consuming a product which I know is not good for me but I do it anyway.

But the more I read about the dangers of artificial sweeteners the more I am realising that it just might not be worth it, especially if like me you are trying to lose weight.

Below are some interesting facts taken from an article written by Dr. Mercola.

Experiments have found that a sweet taste, regardless of calories, enhances your appetite. Aspartame has been found to have the most pronounced effect, but the same applies for other artificial sweeteners, such as acesulfame potassium and saccharin. Basically, real sugar allows your body to accurately determine that it has received enough calories, thereby helping you to feel satiated. Without the calories, your appetite is activated by the sweet taste, but as your body keeps waiting for the calories to come, sensations of hunger remain.

Another reason for aspartame’s potential to cause weight gain is because phenylalanine and aspartic acid – the two amino acids that make up 90 percent of aspartame — are known to rapidly stimulate the release of insulin and leptin; two hormones that are involved with satiety and fat storage. Insulin and leptin are also the primary hormones that regulate your metabolism.

So although you’re not consuming calories in the form of sugar, aspartame can still raise your insulin and leptin levels. Elevated insulin and leptin levels, in turn, are two of the driving forces behind obesity, diabetes, and a number of our current chronic disease epidemics. Over time, if your body is exposed to too much leptin, it will become resistant to it, just as your body can become resistant to insulin, and once that happens, your body can no longer “hear” the hormonal messages instructing your body to stop eating, burn fat, and maintain good sensitivity to sweet tastes in your taste buds.

What happens then?

You remain hungry; you crave sweets, and your body stores more fat. Leptin-resistance also causes an increase in visceral fat, sending you on a vicious cycle of hunger, fat storage and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and more.

So lately, I have tried to pay careful attention to how I feel after having a diet drink with my primal supper. Interestingly enough, I have found that I do crave something sweet and often head off to the fruit bowl or the cupboard to get a block of dark chocolate. Mmmmm – could it be true? Is the Aspartame raising my insulin levels? Is that why I am struggling to lose more weight? Maybe I have just learned what I finally needed to know to help me kick this “drinking” habit once and for all. My goal now is to start making water taste delicious by adding sliced oranges or lemons, mint or cucumber.

I encourage you to Google “aspartame” or “artificial sweeteners” and read as much as you can. Be informed and make wiser choices. I know I am going to try.

About Nicky Perks

Passionately sharing information about the paleo/primal, high fat/low carb lifestyle that will rock your world! I am on my own journey to good health and a slim body. My goal? To enjoy the ride as life on this beautiful planet is just too short to do it any other way.

Posted on March 15, 2013, in Primal 101 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thank you so much for this post! I recently started paleo and I’ve been trying to figure out if artificial sweeteners are in or out. Do you know anything about the sweetener LC Foods uses? I am trying to figure out if that one is ok or not. (I am NOT advertising for them, I swear.) Let me know what you think!

    • Sorry, I have not heard of this sweetener before. The ingredients seem to be OK as it contains Stevia which is fine. Maybe email Mark Sisson or Dr Mercola and ask them what they think? I couldn’t say if it is safe or not.

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