Food & Recipes

A New Study Confirms Low-Calorie Sweeteners May Contribute To Weight Gain

It looks like artificial sweeteners may be worse than we thought.

For the sake of limiting sugar intake, many turn to drinks and food that are flavored with artificial sweeteners. Whether you opt to consume low-calorie sugar substitutes because you’re looking to slash your calorie count or because it sounds like a healthier option, you might want to continue reading.

According to a new study published this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the compounds found in sugar substitutes may actually contribute to weight gain. Sure, there have been plenty of studies in the past informing us that consuming aspartame, saccharin or stevia aren’t the healthiest for you, but this newest study confirms it might be worse than you think.

This most recent study is deemed one of the most comprehensive reviews to date. Scientists from the University of Manitoba’s George & Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation examined 37 previously published studies, which involved a total of 406,910 subjects.

The review reveals that there is no consistent link between low-calorie sugar substitutes and weight loss. And in fact, the research found that people who used low-calorie sweeteners were actually more likely to gain wright and to see an increase in both their body mass index and waist circumference.

Even scarier, the researchers found that those who consume artificial sweetener were also more likely to suffer from hypertension, cardiovascular disease and strokes. Yikes.

But despite the recent findings, it’s probably very unlikely that sugar substitutes will disappear, because according to another recent study in the Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, use of  sugar substitutes has increased by 200 percent between 1999 and 2012! And about 41 percent of Americans now use them on a regular basis.

However, some are better for you than others, so if you’re not looking to give up  artificial sweetener anytime soon, you might like to read about which sweeteners are the best and worst when it comes to your health.