Does Artificial Sugar Cause Weight Gain?
Once the savior of those trying to lose weight and maintain diabetes, artificial sugars are now being scrutinized more closely and some people are blaming them for weight problems and even going as far as saying they’re dangerous. With all the conflicting information out there, it’s hard to know what to believe. If you’re on a weight loss journey and you use artificial sugar, you might be asking yourself, “Does artificial sugar cause weight gain?”
The very thing that got you off your soda kick? Artificial sugar—zero calorie sweeteners causing people to gain weight? But how is that even possible?
Well, it depends on whom you ask.
We prefer to get our information from the smart people in white lab coats, so that’s what we did. And we will answer your question, ”Does Artificial Sugar Cause Weight Gain?”
The answer, in short, is –no, it’s not proven to directly cause weight gain.
Does Artificial Sugar Cause Weight Gain? Theories
While there have been ‘theories’ linking artificial sugar to weight gain, none have proven it actually does.
The claims were made solely on observational studies that following ‘people who use artificial sugar’. These people had a higher risk for obesity, but the only thing we know is that they consume artificial sugar. We don’t know their ages, pre-existing conditions, lifestyles, level of fitness, diet and all the other REALLY important things that go along with making a scientific connection.
Other studies have said that artificial sugars or zero calorie drinks lead to people eating more because they feel better about saving a couple hundred calories they would have otherwise enjoyed during a meal. Again—no scientific evidence links this theory to reality.
Others ‘speculate’ that artificial sugars disrupt the gut bacteria which leads to conditions ripened for obesity. Speculation is not science.
Lastly, some researchers posit that because our brains respond to sweets as if being rewarded, which is akin to the way our bodies respond to addiction, that replacing ‘real’ sweets with ‘artificial sweets’ will cause us to crave more sweets and to possibly binge.
To piggyback that theory, some people think if we activate that part of the brain but fail to truly reward it—the brain will continue to seek more (worse) foods and actually make us overeat or make poor food choices.
Again, while we can all appreciate the ideas, suggestions, speculations and hypotheses, none of them are concrete evidence of artificial sugars CAUSING weight gain.
Does Artificial Sugar Cause Weight Gain? Actual Clinical Studies
As much as the media would love for it to be that artificial sugars cause obesity and diabetes, science says—Nope.
The verdict: Artificial sugars do not make you gain weight.
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