Health Advice



Fake sweetness hurts your body

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

Research says that you can tell a sincere smile from a fake one by checking the eyes. If the skin around them isn't crinkly, chances are you're looking at a false expression of affection. That make-believe sugariness can leave you vulnerable to dangerous deception and longing for some genuine (natural) sweetness.

The same is true of sucralose -- the fake sweetener that's added to everything from yogurt to soda to ice cream. A new study in JAMA Open Network found that for all women and both men and women who are obese, false sweetener tricks the brain into feeling hungry and increases appetite -- packing on extra pounds.

Using data from the Brain Response to Sugar study, the researchers discovered that sucralose actually affects neural responses that relate to hunger and reward-driven behavior. And females with obesity are particularly vulnerable to greater neural responsivity from eating sucralose, especially in prefrontal reward-associated brain regions. Now, that's deceptive!

So, let's say it one more time: Enjoy black coffee and tea, water (flavored with a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange), plain club soda and unsweetened, nondairy milks. Read food labels and don't buy anything with added sucralose (or, we say, any artificial sweeteners) or added sugars and syrups. Get your sweet treats from whole fruits: berries, melons, citrus, mangoes, papaya -- we could go on and on. Enjoy 1 ounce of 70% cacao dark chocolate daily. You will have a much easier time controlling your appetite, managing your weight and shedding pounds if needed. That's genuinely sweet news.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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