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How sweet it is? When it comes to artificial sweeteners, you may want to think that one over again!

What do pyramid schemes and artificial sweeteners have in common? They’re both too good to be true! In the case of artificial sweeteners, the upshot isn’t financial woe but, potentially, bona fide bodily harm. Recent research has linked artificial sweeteners to high blood sugar and weight gain. In other words, fake sweeteners may cause some of the health problems that people who use them are trying to avoid. “Replacing corn sweeteners and table sugar with artificial sweeteners is a little like kicking your cigarette habit by switching to cigars,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD. Your brain is no slouch, and evidence suggests that it can spot a fake: Artificial sweeteners may increase cravings for sweet stuff. They also may alter the balance of bacteria in your gut, which triggers harmful metabolic changes. The solution is not to jump back into the arms of sugar, whose health harms are well known but, instead, to dethrone Her Royal Sweetness as queen of your palate. Take your cravings down a notch by keeping nutritious snacks such as fruit and nuts on hand, making sure you are sleeping well, and amping up your activity level. And avoid artificial ingredients, sweet or otherwise. Just remember, your body and brain like to keep it real!

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