Would you look at that! Another study has just surfaced proving that artificial sweeteners are not an adequate substitute for sugar. Who knew? Well we did, and there have been several studies in the past to support such claims.
This latest one from researchers at Yale University School of Medicine USA, argues that if you eat food containing artificial sweeteners, especially if you’re hungry, you’re more likely to eat sugar later. Which kind of makes the idea behind artificial sweeteners redundant, don’t you think?
Like most studies, this one was done on mice (yep still not okay to test on humans). When the hungry rodents were given the choice between sugar and its artificial counterpart, they were more likely to switch their preference to sugar even though the sweetener was much sweeter.
What’s the take away here? The brain knows when you’re trying to fool it. How? Well when you eat an artificial sweetener you’re interfering with a critical step in the neuro-pathways. The “sugar-to-energy” pathway has been compromised, you’ve gotten the taste but missed out on the sugar high, so instinctively your brain craves it and actively seeks it out… you guessed it – sugar!
As a side note one of the researchers suggested a “happy medium” could be the solution. “Combining sweeteners with minimal amounts of sugar so that energy metabolism doesn’t drop while caloric intake is kept to a minimum”.
For the record I Quit Sugar doesn’t think this is the answer at all! That’s why we suggest sweeteners like rice malt syrup and stevia. Rice malt syrup is made up of complex carbohydrates, maltose and glucose which means that it releases nice and slowly into our system ergo no blood sugar spikes when consumed in reasonable doses.
Stevia is a natural sweetener 300 times sweetener than sugar. Current studies universally suggest it is safe in the quantities that we consume.
You can read more about the study here.