Mark Hyman, MD
How do you lose weight? Substitute diet drinks for sugary drinks. Eat low-fat foods. Just eat less of the bad foods -- it's all about the calories. We are told, "Just have more willpower."
These ideas are false. They are food and diet industry propaganda that make and keep us fat and sick. Lies by the food industry combined with bad government policy based on food industry lobbying are the major cause of our obesity and diabetes epidemic.
Now, more than 35 percent of Americans are obese, and almost 70 percent are overweight. This is not an accident but the result of careful marketing and money in politics.
We are told it is all about making better choices. If we all took more personal responsibility, we could stop this obesity and diabetes epidemic. We have been told there are no good or bad foods, that the key to weight loss is moderation. And, of course, if we all just exercised more, all of us would lose weight. These ideas hold us hostage.
What the Food and Diet Industry Doesn't Want You to Know
Diet Soda and Diet Drinks Make You Fat and Cause Type 2 Diabetes
Diet soda makes people fat? Really? How does that happen?
If losing weight were all about the calories, then consuming diet drinks would seem like a good idea. That's certainly what Coca-Cola wants us to believe in their new ad highlighting their efforts to fight obesity. They proudly promote the fact that they have 180 low- or no-calorie drinks and that they cut sugared drinks in schools by 90 percent.
Is that a good thing? In fact, it may be worse than having us all drink regular Coke (and the other food giants making diet drinks also push the same propaganda).
A new 14-year study of 66,118 women (supported by many other previous studies) found that the opposite seems to be true. Diet drinks may be worse than sugar-sweetened drinks, which are worse than fruit juices (but only fresh-squeezed fruit juices).
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, discovered some frightening facts that should make us all swear off diet drinks and products.
Diet sodas raised the risk of diabetes more than sugar-sweetened sodas!
Women who drank one 12-ounce diet soda had a 33 percent increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, and women who drank one 20-ounce soda had a 66 percent increased risk.
Women who drank diet sodas drank twice as much as those who drank sugar-sweetened sodas because artificial sweeteners are more addictive and are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar.
The average diet soda drinker consumes three diet drinks a day.
You might say that people who are overweight and just about to get diabetes drink more diet soda, but they scientifically controlled for body weight. And they found the artificial sweeteners increased diabetes independent of body weight!
This and other research shows how diet sodas make people fat and sick.
And that diet drinks may be even worse than regular sugar-sweetened sodas! How does that happen?
Artificial sweeteners are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar, activating our genetically-programmed preference for sweet taste more than any other substance.
They trick your metabolism into thinking sugar is on its way. This causes your body to pump out insulin, the fat storage hormone, which lays down more belly fat.
It also confuses and slows your metabolism down, so you burn fewer calories every day.
It makes you hungrier and crave even more sugar and starchy carbs like bread and pasta.
In animal studies, the rats that consumed artificial sweeteners ate more, their metabolism slowed, and they put on 14 percent more body fat in just two weeks -- even eating fewer calories.
In population studies, there was a 200 percent increased risk of obesity in diet soda drinkers.
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