Dr. Reese’s Bits and Pieces
April 2018 Newsletter
The April showers may bring May flowers but they also green up the golf courses. It’s been a fairly dry winter so far and a less than abundant snow season for most of the ski resorts. But April can sometimes be wetter and snowier than March so I’m not putting away my boots and coat yet.
Shed the Winter Coat
One coat we all want to shed is the winter weight that can creep on especially with all the holiday eating and partying. With St. Paddy’s Day behind us and the warm weather upon us, it’s time to think about summer clothes and bathing suits.
If you think that the solution to getting the pounds off is by consuming foods with the word “diet” on the label, you are in for a surprise. Several research studies over the years has shown the artificial sweeteners used in diet drinks actually increase your weight. Yep, diet soda makes you fatter!In a recent article by Dr. Fred Pescatore, MD:
It’s hard to imagine anyone STILL falling for the line that artificial sweeteners are somehow good for you. These are chemicals after all—many of which have spent the last several decades hopping on and off of the list of known cancer-causing agents.
But this hasn’t stopped the beverage industry from peddling their “diet” products as a healthier alternative to sugary drinks. (Leave it to Big Soda to find a way to capitalize on the obesity crisis they had a big hand in creating.)
The problem here isn’t just that these sugar substitutes are potentially carcinogenic, of course. That would be bad enough. Thanks to new research, we’re also finding out (and not for the first time, either) that they may increase your risk for heart disease, too.
A recent review and meta-analysis delivered so-called “mixed evidence” supporting the role of artificial sweeteners in weight loss. (Hardly a glowing endorsement for products that often feature the word “diet” in their names.) But that’s not even the worst part…
Results also showed that consuming artificial sweeteners on a daily basis may actually be linked with weight gain over the long haul… and more concerning, a higher risk of cardiometabolic disease.1
Meanwhile, nearly half of all Americans use these sugar substitutes regularly. (In fact, studies have revealed that a very large portion of people consume artificial sweeteners without knowing it. They’re even turning up in the blood and urine samples of people who report avoiding them.)
Just as a reminder, here’s why that’s a problem: Research has established significant links between non-nutritive sweeteners and gains in body weight, BMI, and waist size.2 Not to mention elevated risks of high blood pressure, stroke, heart-related events, and type 2 diabetes.
And we’re not talking about the results of some tiny one-off study, either. We’re talking about big, reputable studies featuring large groups of subjects that researchers followed for a lengthy duration.
One of these is the famous Framingham Heart Study—which showed that people who drank one or more cans of diet soda every day faced triple the risk of stroke and dementia, as compared to people who never touched the stuff.3
Granted, one could argue that unhealthy people simply tend to reach for artificial sweeteners more often—not that the sweeteners themselves do any damage. But a single look at the latest findings flushes that theory right down the toilet… where it belongs.
Recent studies have shown, for example, that artificial sweeteners alter the microbiome in rodents and humans—making it “obesogenic.”4-5 In fact, evidence also suggests that regularly consuming these chemicals hijacks the metabolism, paving the way toward high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and weight gain.
The only health positive zero calorie sweetener is Stevia. Stevia is from the leaves of a South American plant and is not some chemical concoction. Since stevia is 100 times sweeter than sugar, I only recommend of drop or two of the liquid stevia. The powdered version is usually not pure stevia and has fillers and additives you don’t need. I personally don’t like the taste of stevia, so I drink everything unsweetened or use raw honey. Dr. Pescatore goes on to say:
…clinical research presented at the 2016 meeting of the Endocrine Society examined the effects of stevia consumption among a group of 40 subjects with metabolic syndrome. All subjects followed the same low-calorie diet for four months. But they were also randomly assigned to receive either a stevia snack four times a week, or a sweet of their choosing once a week.
Researchers evaluated every metabolic metric under the sun—from BMI and waist size to blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, hormone levels, and liver function. In the end, the control group did lose weight. But only the stevia group had significant reductions in a long list of risk parameters—including blood pressure, fasting glucose, oxidized LDL, and leptin levels.8
Another group of researchers published a comprehensive review confirming these health benefits in the Journal of Medicinal Food just last year. Among their findings: Stevia’s unique glycosides—the compounds that give it its sweetness—are uniquely capable of reducing metabolic risk.
Not only that, but this plant also boasts roughly 100 additional nutrients and phytochemicals with powerful antioxidant and medicinal properties—including phenols and flavonoids. https://drpescatore.com/urgent-warning-new-research-reveals-why-diabetics-should-avoid-diet-products-at-all-costs