Artificial Sweeteners Are Not a Magic Wand for Your Waistline

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Artificial sweeteners may sound like a golden pathway to the land of the slim, but I wouldn't bet the farm on these alternatives helping you to lose weight all by themselves. For someone like me, a guy who puts away beverages like I'm attempting to stockpile berry-flavored green tea in my bladder, it certainly helps cut down on the amount of sugar I'm consuming on a daily basis hourly basis. That in itself prevents yours truly from watching my waistline expand to astronomical proportions. However, if I really want to lose weight, I'm going to have to adjust my diet and exercise just like everyone else on the planet.

The American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association have issued a joint statement on the matter, claiming that, while using artificial sweeteners can help reduce the amount of carbohydrates and sugars in your diet, they are not going to help you magically shed those unwanted pounds. The reason: some people use the addition of non-nutritive sweeteners as an excuse to add extra calories to their diets.

"Smart use of non-nutritive sweeteners could help you reduce added sugars in your diet, therefore lowering the number of calories you eat," explained researcher Christopher Gardner, who recently published a study in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association and Diabetes Care.

"[Artificial sweeteners] could help you attain and maintain a healthy body weight, and thereby lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes," Gardner added.

Co-author Diane Reader of the International Diabetes Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota stated that artificial sweeteners could provide a suitable alternative for individuals currently living with diabetes. She also added that foods and beverages which contain non-nutritive sweeteners aren't necessarily healthy simply because they do not contain sugar.

In other words, artificial sweeteners should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise if you want to lose weight. These alternatives are more of a tool than a simple solution. So the next time you think you can get away with super sizing those fries simply because you're ordering a Diet Coke, you might want to reconsider all of the options available to you.

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