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Old 12-13-2008, 10:58 PM   #31  
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Sorbitol makes me gassy, but I've not had any problems with Splenda. I've lost weight using it, like the sweet flavor it gives, and use it for most of my cooking and some baking.

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Originally Posted by carcar05 View Post
Zero calorie sweeteners and low calorie sweeteners will trick your metabolism, it's a proven fact.
Just wondering, has there been actual studies? I know with some people wight loss stalls with sugar-free and diet products because they eat more than they would otherwise; I.e. "I can have an extra large fries and BigMac instead of a Happy Meal because I'll get a DIET Coke!" However, I didn't think that it can actually cause you to gain/retain weight in and of itself.

Last edited by Wolf Goddess; 12-13-2008 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:25 PM   #32  
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Splenda gives me horrible headaches. I used to put it in my coffee, and i just figured it was because i was having caffeine withdrawls later in the day. I ran out of splenda and was using sugar for a week, headaches went away. Now, i can tell if anything has it in it. I hate when i eat something without looking at the label, they put artificial sweeteners in everything now.
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Old 12-14-2008, 12:31 PM   #33  
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Originally Posted by Wolf Goddess View Post
Just wondering, has there been actual studies? I know with some people wight loss stalls with sugar-free and diet products because they eat more than they would otherwise; I.e. "I can have an extra large fries and BigMac instead of a Happy Meal because I'll get a DIET Coke!" However, I didn't think that it can actually cause you to gain/retain weight in and of itself.
It depends on who you read/believe. There have been population studies that indicate a correlation between people who drink diet sodas and those who are overweight. In short, the studies show that people who drink diet soda tend to weigh more than those who tend not to - which can also be read that people who weigh more are more likely to drink diet soda. There's no cause/effect evidence here, and it's a hard study to do - the correlation exists, but whether it's because diet soda causes people to gain weight or because overweight people are more likely to drink diet soda can't be deduced from that information.

The more "hard science" data makes it just as hard to draw a defined conclusion. I don't have the citations in front of me, but I've read a fair few. The ones that are clearest on this subject suggest two things.

1) Classic studies state that artificial sweeteners have little to no effect on blood glucose levels. The body doesn't absorb them so there's no rise in glucose the way there is when you eat something with sugar. With that said, there is some evidence that certain artificial sweeteners are interpreted as close enough to sugar to trigger an insulin rise, which will cause blood sugar to drop. This is likely only true for a subset of people (like the headaches, GI issues, etc), so in the general public it's not considered a problem.

2) With or without a blood sugar/insulin effect, arguments have been made that artificial sweeteners may trigger other chemical shifts in the body that impair weight loss. In shorthand, when you eat something that tastes sweet, your brain tells your body to prepare for something sweet - that sugar's on the way, so it's time to stop breaking down fat, boost digestive activity, and (arguably) release insulin for the uptake of that sugar. Normally, when we eat something, that's a good thing, since it's how our body is designed to work (food intake = stop using stored energy and use the fresh stuff). The concern is that artificial sweeteners trigger these digestive/metabolic responses and then the promised sugar load never arrives. You drink a Coke Zero instead of a Coke, and your body is prepped to break down the sugar your mouth says is incoming (but never arrives). Some speculate that this unsatisfied digestive preparation drives our hunger to make us eat more (the body's ready to digest, so the brain tells us we're hungry in order to have something to do with all that preparation); other speculations are that the intake of the artificial sweetener itself can slow weight loss (due to the signals to stop using stored energy). This area of study is still unclear what's really going on, but there's enough data out there on either side of the fence to choke a horse.


Anyhow, the take-home message is this: Yes, there's evidence that artificial sweeteners may impede weight loss. However, there's evidence on the other side that says it helps weight loss (by dropping calorie intake). There are any number of successful losers on this site - some will tell you they used plenty of artificial sweeteners on their journey (and may continue to do so); some will tell you their success was due to eating real foods and dropping processed stuff, including artificial sweeteners. At this point, it comes down to your personal view on the stuff - My thoughts are that real food is better than chemicals any time, so I try to limit my artificial sweetener intake regardless of its effects. YMMV.
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