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Mom, desperately trying to get the health thing right! I started this blog so that I can pass along all the great things that I learn everyday on damage control for our wonderful bodies. It is tough to keep up sometimes with all the things going on in our daily lives so hopefully some of the helpful hints that I provide can make your life easier and healthier. I welcome your comments and tips as well! I am a vegetarian, animal rights advocate and avid animal rescuer.
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Do sugar-free and diet products make you look fat?

I was going to write an original post today but since I just discussed with you my diet soda relapse (thanks for all the positive comments by the way) I thought that this post by Kim Klaver of Whole Food Nation fame and one of my personal heroes (she is one of the creators of the whole food supplements-the pops that I live on) made a lot of sense and kind of went hand in hand with the diet soda dangers (I am still whining about these dangers-I swear it is an addiction with these sodas). It really is fascinating how you really need to pay attention and be your own food watchdog.

Secret: Sugar-free low-calorie products may make you look uh, fatter.

Remember: weight (that nobody wants) = fat that's been stored and water that's been retained.
OK here's the scoop.

Sugar-free, low calorie sweeteners typically use artificial sweeteners like aspartame, splenda or saccharin. (Read the label on anything lo-cal, sugar-free or diet - as in diet cookies- before you open your mouth.)

And here's how they make you look fatter, according to Dr. Heidi (creator of the the ER weight control program):

"When an artificial
sweetener gets into your blood stream, your immune system's alarms go off. Among other things, your body starts retaining water.

"The water is used to escort the toxins out of your body, but often they get lodged in your tissue. Your body wants to flush the toxins, but when they don't go, your body continues to retain the water. Which makes it look fat and puffy.

"Ergo, the more artificial sweeteners you put in your mouth, the more water your body retains to protect you from the risk of toxic effects. And the fatter you look. The body's reaction to artificial sweeteners is also a cause of ugly cellulite."

**I can personally vouch for this because when I was on my diet soda binge last week I puffed up and it was not attractive. When I am good and drink my tea and water I am great with no puffiness. One more reason to avoid diet sodas.


Anonymous said...
INTERESTING (about the water) and not surprising.

and sad that we (OK I) still need more reasons not to use em when there hath been NOT ONE ARTICLE saying how great they are ;)

Jackie said...
Didn't know that.

I have never liked sugar free drinks as most have deadly artificial sweeteners in them. Plus I love my sugar too much and it certainly hasn't made me fat.ajmcaxej
Anonymous said...
Wow! I had no idea. I would have thought the other way around. Thanks for making us all aware.
I didn't know that...this information alone is a good reason to stop the sugar free products...

GoteeMan said...
My wife is unable to take in any chemical/artificial sweetener, as well as corn syrups, etc. We found a wonderful organic set of products which are low calorie (40), low glycemic (9g carb), and taste great, without any artificials, etc. Take a look HERE, if you are interested.

INGREDIENTS: Sparkling filtered water, organic evaporated cane juice, natural flavors, vegetable juice for color, citric acid, organic Fair Trade Certified Ceylon green tea and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C).

Natural, organic, with very sparingly used organic evaporated cane juice for sweetener... works great for an occasional sparkling bev, and green tea benefits to boot!

Anonymous said...
Well now, I just knew there was a reason why I never wanted to use artificial sweeteners! This is excellent information.
tashabud said...
So now I have to throw away all my Splenda! I thought splenda is suppose to be real sugar, just not glucose sugar? Ayayayayayay!!! I'm glad that you have this blog site to digest all these info into a centralized place for us to just converge to get our fill with health and nutrition. I simply don't have all the time in the world examining all the health and nutrition-related magazines out there, so your site is where I come for these issues. I know that you're looking after for all of us. Especially that these are the very things that you put into practice in your daily life.

Have a great day.
Sherer said...
Ah very good to know. I'll stick to high protein! THanks Healthnut - and your originals are always the best!
Anonymous said...
I had heard about sugar free products causing the body to retain more fats and water, before. I also heard that there were problems with many of them causing growths. I suppose while they are are used in many large companies, problems may often be diluted in what is passed on to the general public. It has taken several generations for smoking to be banned and many of these chemical sweetners are quite new. It may take another generation or so before they are also banned.
Anonymous said...
Wow! Sugar is becoming very popular around here. :-)
Cascia Talbert said...
I've heard that sugar is the best thing for you. Thank you for that reminder. My in laws are diabetic so they usually only have Splenda at their house. I try to avoid artificial sweeteners if I can. I don't drink soda that often and when I do I usually get the kind that says it is made with real cane sugar. That is better for you than high fructose corn syrup.
Alan said...
I read about your diet soda relapse.

I guess I'm lucky there, I can't stand the taste of them, leaves me with a bad aftertaste, they are so awful.
Diet soda to me taste like cheap soap or something..Yawk.

I don't think sugar is a bad thing, nor Maple Syrup, or honey....a lot better than sweeteners from...where do they come from....labs???
Roger DJ said...
Wow, I vever knoew this before. I've always been suspect of artificial sweetners and stay away from them but now there's just one more reason for it. Thanks for the info!
Jemi said...
What a good information you have here again. Good thing I never buy those kind of of stuff. I always try to stay away from products with artificial sweeteners even when I was still in the Philippines. Not that I was aware of its bad effects, just the idea of " artificial " didn't appeal to me.

Thanks for voting for my dream job entry. I appreciate it !
Anonymous said...
This is something I have been dealing with for the past few months having just been diagnosed late in life (26) as an adult with type 1 diabetes. I am actively managing this situation with great success, but because of many of the issues with control weight is a factor. I noticed that when I was adjusting my diet to a "heart healthy" diet and started to drink the diet soda that although my sugar is under control and my calorie intake was in check that I was still not losing much size even over the course of a few months. Now that I am adding more exercise to the picture I am having promising results. I think shortly I will be switching back to tea and water just to get an edge of the puffyness.
BeadedTail said...
Interesting information and timely for me too. I started a "detox" this week and am trying to eliminate the fake (and real) sugars, flour, and all processed foods. Reminders of what these additives do are exactly what I need to know to stay on track.
Anonymous said...
diet soda's a joke. as are diet cookies, and anything else "diet". all it does is makes you subconsciously think you can get away with consuming something unhealthy, because it's the "diet" version. often this leads to people drinking a liter of soda every day, but "it's okay, it's diet".

my advice: if you're going to buy a soda, or cookies, or anything else, buy the real thing. then control it as if it were the real thing, knowing full well how unhealthy it is. once you get your head that this stuff is actually bad for you (no matter how many "diet" or "low calorie" adjectives you put in front of it) then you'll cut back your proportions to a healthy level and you can enjoy them for what they're supposed to be - an occasional indulgence.

these days i usually only drink soda maybe once a month when we go out to eat. :(
Anonymous said...
Great article. Better keep away from diet soda.
ssgreylord said...
I knew there was a reason I avoid any diet products... :) :) :) thanks Heidi, for passing on another good source.
Anonymous said...
Good! I am so glad you wrote this. It's drives me positively crazy when people think they can eat all the low-fat, sugar-free stuff they want simply because it doesn't have fat or sugar actually in the product. Better to eat the real stuff, in my opinion, just do it in moderation.
shea said...
I agree and thank you
That's not exactly true except that that is what you believe. You should read Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. Great book. It will make you change your mind.
GetSmartGal said...
Good stuff! I can't stand artificial sweetners so good to know there is even more reason not subject myself to them.
Krystyl said...
I went on a sugar free diet for a while, and it really made a great deal of difference in not just my appearance but how i felt over all....sugar not only weighs you down (physically) but emotionally sometimes too.
Anonymous said...
my husband's been telling me for years that the artificial sweeteners in my diet coke were actually keeping me from losing weight. I fought it for years, and finally shook the monkey off my back, and am now diet coke-free. I still want one every now and then, but now if I absolutely must have pop, I drink a regular Pepsi. That way I limit myself because I know I'm ingesting sugar, pure and simple.
Anonymous said...
ohhh, Thanks for this alert, But it is very hard to belive it.

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