Why You Should Skip Sugar Substitutes

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Hi, Dr. Darria Long Gillespie here with a tip about an everyday ingredient that you might think is no problem. If you're trying to watch your weight and stay healthy, soft drinks and other beverages made with a sugar substitute might seem like a smart idea, but not so fast. It turns out sugar substitutes may actually make you gain weight and boost your risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

In one study, people who regularly consumed artificial sweeteners had a higher body mass index than those who didn't. This may be because foods and drinks made with a sugar substitute alter the brain's pleasure center. So instead of satisfying your sweet tooth, artificially sweetened food just conditions you to want more sweet stuff.

Artificially sweetened drinks have a so called halo effect that may make you gain weight. When people sip these, they unconsciously give themselves permission to gobble other higher calorie foods, so for a smarter, no cal sipper, stick to water unsweetened iced tea. I'm Dr. Darria. For more ways to protect your health, watch all our smart tips.