To Your Health
March, 2020 (Vol. 14, Issue 03)
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Artificial Sweeteners and Carbs Don't Mix

By Editorial Staff

Think you're doing a good thing by drinking diet soda instead of the sugary version? We can talk for days about the reasons why this still isn't a good idea, but for now, let's focus on why drinking diet soda – or consuming artificial sweeteners from other sources – is a bad idea when you combine it with carbohydrates (which is so often the case).

Burger, fries and soft drink – the quintessential fast-food meal. If that soft drink is the diet (which generally means, artificially sweetened) version, that could be trouble, suggests research, specifically if the artificial sweetener is sucralose (brand name: Splenda). Why? Because according to researchers, the combination of sucralose and high-carbohydrate foods appears to alter the brain's response to sweet tastes and impair insulin sensitivity / sugar metabolism – a bad combination that can accelerate weight gain and elevate diabetes risk.

Interesting, the effect was not seen in people who consumed a sucralose-containing beverage alone or with a time gap (an hour on either side) between carbohydrate consumption. The study findings appear in the research journal Cell Metabolism.