'A lot of people think that sugar-free treats are a healthy way to enjoy sweet foods, eating them with abandon because they don’t think they’ll gain weight on account of the fewer calories. This could prove to be a very costly mistake, however, as research shows that artificial sweeteners actually cause people to put on even more pounds.
A report that was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal reveals the sour truth about artificial sweeteners. After analyzing 37 studies involving more than 400,000 people across a decade, they determined that artificial sweeteners do not help people lose weight. In fact, they found that those who consume one or more artificially-sweetened beverage per day actually have a higher risk not only of weight gain but also heart disease and diabetes.
Study author Meghan Azad, a University of Manitoba pediatrics professor, said: “I think there’s an assumption that when there are zero calories, there is zero harm.” She said this research shows that calories aren’t the sole factor in weight gain.
Other experts agree, as the body of research showing sweeteners don’t help continues to grow. Whether or not they cause harm is a topic of much debate considering the amount of money food companies earn on these products. It’s also complicated by the fact that people who consume artificial sweeteners are also often likely to eat more processed food in general, and that could also be contributing to obesity – a fact that those with a financial stake in sweeteners like to point out.
However, there have been plenty of studies that clearly show sweeteners do cause health problems. For example, they interfere with the gut microbiome, preventing the absorption of nutrients. They are also believed to make people crave sweeter foods.'
Read more: The sour truth about artificial sweeteners: Research proves they make you gain weight, not lose it
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