Are Artificial Sweeteners Making You Gain Weight?

Partha Nandi | November 16, 2017

Losing weight is tough, and there are times when we stray from our goal. But when we commit to a healthier lifestyle, we reap the rewards.

Sometimes, we come to find that something we thought was a healthy option might be doing us more harm than good. When this happens, we learn what we can and make the necessary adjustments.

A perfect example is using artificial sweeteners. For a long time now, we’ve been conditioned to believe that they’re a healthy option that helps us to lose weight. Sounds like a win-win, doesn’t it?

Well, new studies have been conducted, and I think you might be interested in the results.

More harm than good?

Artificial sweeteners aren’t as perfect as we thought. We’re now learning that they can trigger cravings (which can add pounds), affect your gut bacteria and might even put you at higher risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes and other diseases.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you can never enjoy another diet cola again. It doesn’t mean that you can never again sweeten your coffee with the “fake stuff.”

It just means that you might want to look at the research and ask yourself if sugar substitutes can help you get to where you want to be.

Your nutrition. Your choice.

One thing is certain. This new research is not going to make your sweet tooth go away. I know that mine isn’t going anywhere. You’re still going to have those sugary cravings now and then. But now you’ll be better equipped to choose the best ways to satisfy them.

Good nutrition isn’t about deprivation. It’s about moderation and informed choices. You now have this new information that will help you to make smart decisions about how you nourish your body. You don’t have to completely break up with artificial sweeteners, but you should be aware of how they can affect your health.

Artificial sweeteners can:

  • contribute to digestive problems
  • affect the way your body metabolizes sugar
  • increase your risk of certain diseases including obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes
  • contribute to emotional disorders including depression and anxiety
  • cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, and other undesired side effects
  • result in increased waist circumference and Body Mass Index (BMI)

What’s really interesting is that there is absolutely NO solid evidence that fake stuff helps people manage their weight.

Be a Health Hero.

Now that you’re armed with this new information, what will you do with it? I recommend keeping in mind what good nutrition is all about: balance, moderation and nourishing yourself with healthy, natural foods. You’re in the driver’s seat, so it’s up to you to consider the risks and decide what will help you achieve your goals. I hope you choose to fight weight gain, reduce your risk of disease and get on the path to a healthy and joyful life.

Make healthy living a part of every day.

The light in me honors the light in you. Namaste.
Dr. Nandi

Partha’s Prescriptions

  • Use sugar substitutes in moderation. You don’t have to completely deprive yourself but aim to only use them occasionally. Limit yourself to 1 teaspoon of your favorite sweetener at a time – and try not to use it every day.
  • Go for the natural sugars. Sweeten drinks and foods with natural sweeteners like honey, molasses and maple syrup while still keeping moderation in mind.
  • Check food labels. Some foods (like certain yogurts and granola bars) come with sugar substitutes already included. Pay close attention to what’s in your food so that you can make smart choices about what – if anything – you should be adding.

You can find this and other health articles by Dr. Partha Nandi, M.D., F.A.C.P. on his website, Ask Dr. Nandi.


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Partha Nandi

A survivor of rheumatic heart disease, Dr. Partha Nandi M.D., F.A.C.P. grew up to become one of America’s leading patient advocates. His devotion towards educating and empowering others to “Be Your Own Health Hero” stemmed from the empathy and care he received from his father and his first Health Hero, Dr. Chandrasekhar, during his 10 day stay in the hospital and yearlong recovery.

After graduating at the top of his class and obtaining a medical degree at Wayne State University, Dr. Partha Nandi completed his gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and has been a practicing physician for over 20 years. Throughout his career, Dr. Nandi authored several publications and spoke at TedX, college commencements, charity events, and international conferences, advocating ways to improve the quality and access to health care. He has also collaborated with The World Health Organization and partnered with the Ministries of Health in Jamaica and India.

Dr. Partha Nandi currently practices gastroenterology full-time in Detroit, Michigan, where he holds the title of Chief Health Editor for WXYZ ABC Detroit. He is also the creator and host of a medical lifestyle television show, Ask Dr. Nandi, and a speaker at conferences and premier medical meetings to share his mission and empower everyone “To Be Your Own Health Hero.”

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