You spot 'diet' this and 'diet' that on tons of nutritional labels as you are in the grocery store walking down some of your favorite aisle's. Are they worth you picking up and or should you just look right past them? Yes, and No.
Many people who I am very close with ask for nutritional advice. Not because I claim to be some guru, or expert. But I try to be as honest as possible with what science and human physiology says while being sensitive to the state they are in and the circumstances they are under.
Everyone's journey starts somewhere and being respectful of that is always a good thing. If you are consuming tons of sugar from various sources on a daily basis then maybe some of those 'diet' items in the grocery store might be a good change. Changing some of those very refined sugar items you are consuming to some lower calorie 'diet' items may result in you lowering your overall caloric intake to improve your lifestyle.
The untold truth about items in the grocery store that have 'diet' on the label is the artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are added to about 6,000 different beverages, snacks, and food products, making label reading an ever pressing necessity. Disturbingly, food industry groups are now trying to hide the presence of artificial sweeteners in certain foods.
One of the reasons why artificial sweeteners do not help you lose weight relates to the fact that your body is not fooled by sweet taste without accompanying calories.
When you eat something sweet, your brain releases dopamine, which activates your brain's reward center. The appetite-regulating hormone leptin is also released, which eventually informs your brain that you are "full" once a certain amount of calories have been ingested.
However, when you consume something that tastes sweet but doesn't contain any calories, your brain's pleasure pathway still gets activated by the sweet taste, but there's nothing to deactivate it, since the calories never arrive.
Artificial sweeteners basically trick your body into thinking that it's going to receive sugar (calories), but when the sugar doesn't come, your body continues to signal that it needs more, which results in carb cravings.
In recent years, we've learned that gut microbes play a significant role in human health. Certain gut microbes have been linked to obesity. As it turns out, artificial sweeteners disrupt your intestinal microflora, thereby raising your risk of obesity and diabetes.
As for safer sweetener options, you could use stevia or Luo Han, both of which are safe natural sweeteners. Now days reading food labels are becoming a necessity.
Americans in particular are addicted to sweet flavors, which appears to trigger a complex set of biological systems, pathways, and mechanisms that in the end leads to excess weight gain whether that flavor comes loaded with calories or not. In the end, the research tells us that artificial sweeteners are nothing more than a pipe dream when it comes to aiding you in becoming healthier, because contrary to what the marketing campaigns claim, low or no calorie artificial sweeteners are more likely to help you pack on the pounds than shed them.
Just be careful as you choose what you consume. Also, be sensitive to those who may be trying to change there lifestyle. Sugar, and artificial sweeteners can be addicting and someone may need your empathy and support while they are going through their journey.