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So you think replacing sugar with artificial sweetner will help you lose weight? Sounds compelling, but long-term research confirms that the opposite is true :

Artificial sweetners may actually increase the likelihood of weight gain. The American Diabetes Association has presented a study on 474 participants that found a correlation between drinking diet soda and a wider waistline[ii]. At the end of the 10 year study, the results showed that diet soda drinkers had a whoppingly 70 percent greater waist circumference than those who avoided artificially sweetened sodas. Drinking two or more diet sodas a day could give you a waistline 500 percent greater than those who steer clear of artificially sweetened drinks.

...But replacing sugar with artificial sweetner is a healthy choice (?)

Not at all! A 2012 study among 2,500 men also concluded that those who drank diet drinks every day had a massive 43 % increase in cardiovascular events, (ie strokes and heart attacks). In fact, regular consumption of products sweetened with Aspartame and Sucralose actually increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke – shockingly this increased risk holds true even if you are of normal weight ! 

Another  2011 study on 3,000 women also found that drinking 2 or more diet sodas a day led to a 30 percent decline in kidney function[i].

Yet another study at the university of Texas suggested that heavy aspartame exposure might directly contribute to increased blood glucose levels, which would help explain the association observed between diet soda consumption and the increased risk of diabetes. Artificial sweeteners trick your brain into thinking it is consuming sugar, but when your body realizes it is not getting what it expects, it tends to become confused, so when you consume real sugar, your body may not react with a suitable insulin response. A 2008 study found that drinking just one diet cola a day was associated with 36% greater risk of developing metabolic syndrome (ie diabetes, cardiovascular disease and/or cancer) [iii] .

Lastly, instead of satisfying your appetite, artificial sweeteners may actually make you crave more dessert. As artificial sweeteners taste up to 600 times sweeter than sugar, they may increase appetite and may also make you crave other sweet products and make less-sweet foods like fruits and vegetables less appealing.

[i] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3022238/

[ii] http://uthscsa.edu/hscnews/singleformat2.asp?newID=3861

[iii] http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/32/4/688.short

[iv] http://uthscsa.edu/hscnews/singleformat2.asp?newID=3861