Why Diet Food Is Not Satisfactory


Trying to work out a diet but can’t help reach for the scrumptious looking cookies, the double chocolate ice cream or your favourite soft drink? The food industry certainly knows how to exploit these desperate cravings of ours. With a whole array of edibles labelled as ‘Diet’ or ‘Sugar-free’, they are seemingly the perfect solution to satisfy yourself and stick to your diet simultaneously but, how satisfied, if you have ever opted for these diet foods unlike me, do you really feel after devouring them?

Research suggests that although you might be able to fool your taste buds, your mind refutes the attempted deceit. The study published in the journal Neuron, explains how brain chemistry may perhaps be distinguishing between real sugar and artificial sweeteners and how our brains are programmed to accept sugar and calories from naturally sweet tasting food rather than low-calorie sweeteners which have no nutritional value.

Anatomy of fruit flies, the subjects of the study, showed real sugar to activate a group of six neurons that released a hormone with receptors in the digestive system and brain. Artificial sugar, however, did not produce the same hormone driven digestive response. According to researchers, fruit flies and humans share 75% of the same disease causing genes, and it is possible that our brain working may be a match.

This would explain why diet foods fail to satisfy our appetite despite the intake because our minds do not signal the satiation flag but hold up the “You’re still hungry” sign, as a result of which, your diet plan may be backfiring while you end up gaining weight, contrary to your efforts. So the next time you can’t help yourself, you might want to go for a real dessert or drink instead of a ‘diet’ or ‘sugar-free’ one, but do go easy on it.

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