As a dietitian and diabetes educator who counsels people who want to lose weight (and keep it off), I often hear concerns about whether using so-called artificial sweeteners cause the side effect of weight gain. Understandably, there’s been plenty of media hype and headlines touting this notion.
Before delving into the research, let me briefly respond to this concern with an emphatic no!
Here’s the bottom line: if you use low-calorie sweeteners, whether it’s SPLENDA® Sweetener Products (a client of mine) or others, along with carefully counting your calories, selecting healthier foods, slowly changing your eating habits and exercising regularly, using artificial sweeteners can, especially for people with a sweet tooth, offer you an extra edge to help you lose weight and keep it off.
But, and this is an important but, artificial sweeteners are not a magic bullet for weight loss. You can’t have a large piece of sugar-sweetened cake along with a cup of coffee sweetened with low-calorie sweetener, or a diet beverage, and think your extra pounds will melt away. Not going to happen!
That said, they can be a helpful tool in reasonable strategies for weight loss. So where does the media hype about low calorie sweeteners and weight gain come from?
In a recent Splenda Living blog I walk you through the two main types of studies that focus on the effect of low calorie sweeteners on weight control. Then I’ll review the conclusions and hopefully put your mind at ease.