Diet Secret: Skip Artificial Sweeteners

Photo Credits: Thinkstock

Sugar is often one of the first things to cut out if you’re trying to shed some extra pounds. While you may be cutting calories adding Splenda or Equal to that iced coffee every morning, you could also be slowing down your metabolism and even consuming some unhealthy chemicals.

Artificial sweeteners are low in calories, or completely absent of them, which is why so many of us choose them over sugar. But, truth be told, artificial sweeteners are actually harder for your body to process and break down than natural forms of sugar. “Artificial sweeteners contain chemicals that the body has to work harder at digesting. This can actually slow down digestion and your metabolism,” says Boca Raton, FL, nutrition consultant Lily Jaffy.

There’s also never-ending controversy surrounding these faux sweeteners. “Most have some sort of negative problem associated with them. Aspartame, for example, is the most complained-about ingredient to the FDA,” says Woodland Hills, CA, nutritionist Jonny Bowden. “A better choice is sugar alcohols like xylitol or erythritol, which can be found in Truvia, or real sugars found in cold-pressed honey or blackstrap molasses,” he says. Just make sure to keep your sugar intake to a minimum.

The verdict: swap artificial sweeteners for natural sources of sugar. It’s healthier and can help promote weight loss.