New research finds diet drinks not 'diet' after all

Posted at 1:45 PM, Jan 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-09 14:54:19-05

In trying to lose weight, many people switch from sugar-sweetened beverages to artificially sweetened ones. But new research finds that diet drinks may not be helping you drop pounds after all.

What are the problems with artificially sweetened beverages?
Switching to artificially sweetened drinks have long been thought of as a way to prevent or lose weight.  But a new study by researchers out of the United Kingdom and Brazil finds these drinks are just as ineffective at weight loss as the sugar-sweetened drinks.  They can still stimulate sweet taste receptors in your brain, which can cause food cravings and increase your appetite.

Does research show artificially sweetened beverages caused weight gain?
The research to-date has not shown artificial sweeteners to cause weight gain. But there have been some studies that link these drinks to an increased body mass index. You do need be aware of who’s funding the study and be careful of biased research. But here’s the concern: Since many of these drinks are low in calories, you think you’re saving calories.  And then you decide to eat THAT piece of cake.  It may lead to over-eating.

What are your prescriptions?
I’d like you to try replacing your artificially sweetened beverages with other options.

Partha’s RX
1. Swap your can of cola for a glass of plain water
Start by replacing one serving – it’s the best fluid source of fluid for your body.

2. Spruce up your water with natural flavors
Add slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, or watermelon.  It’s refreshing and flavorful.

3. Try creating your own vegetable drink
Add your favorite veggies in a blender or juicer along with some fruit to sweeten it.  It’s low in calories and very healthy.

4. Brew a cup of green tea
It’s calorie-free and high in antioxidants.  Use raw honey if you want to sweeten it.

What common drinks are often artificially sweetened?
Many types of soft drinks, fruit juices, flavored water, and ready-to-drink coffee and tea are artificially flavored. Be careful if you continue to have artificial sweeteners. They can make you avoid healthy, filling, and nutritious food.