The disconnect between sweetness sensations coming from our tongue and the lack of a caloric feedback loop in the gut may result in overeating.
Other than “overcompensation for expected caloric reduction,” there are two other ways that the most nontoxic noncaloric sweetener could still be harmful if we're not careful. When our brain registers the sensation of sweetness on our tongue, it has millions of years of evolution telling it we just put a piece of fruit in our mouth and so your brain yells eat it, and boosts our appetite, because the only naturally sweet things on the planet are super healthy, right? Fruit, sweet potatoes, beets. You drink a can of diet soda and your brain thinks you just stumbled across a wild blueberry bush or something, and sends urgent signals to consume consume, consume, before someone else gets wind of your bounty. Now your body’s not stupid. It knows if you eat too many calories of any food you might get fat and not be able outrun run some saber tooth tiger so there are signals that come up from our gut when we absorb calories into our system telling us eventually to slow down, we’ve had enough. But with noncaloric sweeteners we have a disconnect. We just have the appetite boosting effects on our brain of the sweet nerve sensations from our tongue, but without the appetite suppressing effects of the calories coming into our system and so this revved up appetite may lead us to overeat more than we would have without the diet soda and end up gaining weight.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Ashley Rhinehart, RN.
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The overcompensation mechanism was explored in yesterday’s NutritionFacts.org video-of-the-day How Diet Soda Could Make Us Gain Weight. Note that both can be overcome if one is eating consciously. The same goes for the final potential mechanism in tomorrow's video-of-the-day Unsweetening the Diet.
For some context, please check out my associated blog post: How to Gain Weight on Diet Soda
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