"Diet", "sugar-free", or "low-calorie" drinks contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame in the place of sugar. Among those with a fondness for diet beverages, drinking two or more a day, their waists grew six times as quickly as those who did not consume them.
A new study of 474 people over 10 years found that the more of them people drank “Diet” drinks, the more weight they put on. Helen Hazuda, professor of clinical epidemiology at the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Centre in San Antonio, warned: "They may be free of calories but not of consequences." She added: "Data from this and other prospective studies suggest that the promotion of diet soft drinks and artificial sweeteners as healthy alternatives may be ill-advised."
Researchers looked at waist measurements and weight in the participants, comparing those who didn't consume diet drinks with those who did. Diet soft drink consumers, as a group, experienced 70 percent greater increases in waist circumference compared with non-users. The authors of the study, presented to the Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association, said policies to promote diet drinks "may have unintended deleterious effects".
This concept is not new. The American Cancer Society in 1986 documented the fact that persons using artificial sweeteners gain more weight than those who avoid them.
No doubt the sandwich is very convenient but choose your bread wisely. Homemade whole grain bread is best, (preferably sprouted or slow rising sourdough, or spelt) while avoiding the heavily processed white pan. Sandwich filling options are endless but here are a few healthy ideas:
A well nourished school kid will be happier, healthier and more academic so its important to put a bit of time into their lunch box.
There are a number of reasons why “Diet” drinks containing artificial sweeteners like “Aspartame” might not be effective in controlling weight:
According to a number of articles it is suggested that aspartame may actually stimulate appetite and bring on a craving for carbohydrates. Many researchers also believe that any kind of sweet taste signals body cells to store carbohydrates and fats, which in turn causes the body to crave more food. Studies have shown that people who use artificial sweeteners don't necessarily reduce their consumption of sugar -- or their total calorie intake.
The major selling point of aspartame is as a diet aid, and it has been demonstrated that the use of this product actually causes people to consume more food. Normally, when a significant quantity of carbohydrate are consumed, serotonin levels rise in the brain. This is manifested as a relaxed feeling after a meal. When aspartame is ingested with carbohydrates, such as having a chicken salad with a diet drink, aspartame causes the brain to cease production of serotonin, meaning that the feeling of having had enough never materializes. You then eat more foods, possibly more “diet” foods, and the cycle continues.
More new research published in the journal Behavioural Neuroscience in June 2011 suggests more of the same misconceptions for fake fats. Researchers from Purdue University in the USA found that “Fat Substitutes” promote weight gain in animals.
They divided rats into two groups: one group was fed a diet of regular full fat Pringles and the other group were fed low-cal Pringles Light potato chrisps, which are made with the synthetic fat substitute olestra. (Olestra passes through the body without being digested, so it’s got zero calories.)
The researchers found that the rats fed “light” potato chrisps ate more overall and gained significantly more weight and body fat than the high-fat-chow group.
Of course this is rats were dealing with here but they are the most common animal model used in medicine to reflect human extrapolation.
Whether you are trying to lose pounds or maintain your weight, using "Diet", "reduced-fat", “Light” or "zero" foods and drinks don’t seem to have any significant effect on weight control. These foods are un-natural and heavily processed and generally devoid in nutrients. Consuming these laboratory/factory made foods will lead a person to overeat as the body craves the nutrients it inevitably needs to function. The only healthy way to achieve weight control is by consuming natural “Real” foods that come from nature. “Weight loss dieting” doesn’t work – this is well established in the scientific literature, if you wish to lose weight a healthy way consult a Nutritionist that is skilled in this area and avoid all this fad stuff.