When you drink “sugar free” beverages, do you crave more sweets? Do you go for the “real deal”? The research has gone back and forth on this for years. There was a surge of information a few years back about people who drank “diet” soda eating more calories along with it. But then I heard from nutrition professionals that it wasn’t necessarily true, and other studies showed that people were able to eat/drink fewer calories by sticking to the sugar free stuff.
Now there’s another study that is telling us to watch out for artificially sweetened beverages. This goes back to the theory that our brains get geared up for something sweet, but the artificial sweeteners don’t cut it and we crave more and higher calorie foods/beverages.
For many years I’ve enjoyed one “diet” soda (Fresca, actually) every night after supper. I trained myself to consider that soda my “sweet treat” and I very purposefully did not eat anything while drinking it. Lately, though, I’ve been much more sporadic about drinking my evening Fresca – I’m probably averaging about two or three a month. I can see how drinking a “diet” soda could lead to eating more calories, though, because when I do have one there is a little urge to eat something with it. I imagine that if we aren’t careful (mindful, they call it), we could munch away at high calorie foods – while sipping the artificially sweetened beverage – without giving it much thought.
What is your experience with “sugar free” drinks? And while we’re at it, what’s your sugar free drink of choice? I can’t believe I found a photo of Tab. I used to love Tab. Is it still in stores?? I think I can still sing the theme song for Tab (Tab Cola, what a beautiful treat…).