My dad loves his Splenda and his no-calorie drink mixes. He’s a bit of a health fanatic, but I’ve been after him for years to eat less weird gross manufactured food and more real food. (Recently, in an attempt to wean him off margarine, I bought him this French butter dish.) Now I have even more ammunition for my Omnivore’s Dilemma-inspired Real Food Diet – evidence that artificial sweeteners make rats gain weight. From Scientific American:
Typically, they [the study's authors] say, the taste buds, sensing something sweet, signal the brain to prep the digestive system to gear up for a caloric onslaught; when the expected sugar jolt (extra calories) fails to materialize, the body gets rattled and has trouble bouncing back and regulating appetite when other food is available. As a result, the rats eat more or expend less energy than they would have had they had the real thing.
In other words, real food makes you feel full and satisfied, so you eat less. Isn’t it great when your health depends on making food that tastes better?