Low calorie drinks can make you PILE ON THE POUNDS

When there is a mismatch between calories and sweetness the brain dials down the metabolism
Credit
Gareth Fuller PA

He says that the calories are only half part of the entire equation and the sweet taste perception will occupy the remaining portion.

Taking into consideration that being healthy is the most important thing, a lot of people who are now aware of this fact will probably change their diet and eat less unnatural or artificially sweetened food. A new study, however, suggests that these types of food may actually make them fat. When sweetness and calories are matched, the calories are properly metabolized, and this is registered by brain reward circuits.

Senior author of the study, which has been published in the journal Current Biology, Professor Dana Small said: "A calorie is not a calorie".

The brain needs sweetness to start burning calories
The brain needs sweetness to start burning calories Credit Anthony Devlin PA

When the sweet drinks match the sweetness and calories, our body will metabolise the calories. But when a beverage is either too sweet or not sweet enough for the number of calories it contains, the body's normal metabolic response is disrupted.

The researchers also said this study might help in explaining prior studies that reported that the artificial sweeteners has the potential to increase the blood sugar levels and possibly lead to diabetes. According to them, these findings establish the link between artificial sweeteners and diabetes in previous studies.

Professor Small said, "Our bodies evolved to efficiently use the energy sources available in nature".

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"Our modern food environment is characterised by energy sources our bodies have never seen before". In nothing less than a shocker to many, the results were opposite to what people believe.

"What the paper does imply, correctly in my view, is that mismatches between calories and sweetness interfere with metabolism of calories", Cardiff University professor of psychology Dominic Dwyer commented. "Either may affect metabolic health".

The results were discovered by giving 15 people drinks with varying calorie contents, then measuring their brain response in an MRI scanner.

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Professor Tom Sanders, of King's College London, said: "Saying a calorie is not a calorie is gobbledegook". He also noted that the study needs observational evidence on long-term artificial sweetener consumers and that some studies show evidence of weight loss from diet soda.

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