A groundbreaking study released by The University of Sydney suggests consuming artificial sweeteners actually makes you feel hungry and therefore eat more.
The study shows the effects artificial sweeteners have on the brain receptors, are far more damaging than previous studies have shown.
Associate Professor Greg Neely from the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Science said: “After chronic exposure to a diet that contained the artificial sweetener sucralose, we saw that animals began eating a lot more.
“When we investigated why animals were eating more even though they had enough calories, we found that chronic consumption of artificial sweetener actually increases the sweet intensity of real nutritive sugar, and this then increases the animal’s overall motivation to eat more food.”
The researchers identified a new system in the brain that senses and integrates the sweetness and energy content of food.
They also found artificial sweeteners promoted hyperactivity, insomnia and decreased sleep quality – behaviours consistent with a mild starvation or fasting state – with similar effects on sleep also previously reported in human studies.
So consuming sugar-free products using substitute products may actually be far more damaging than previously thought.
The solution? Real food.
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