Can Sugar Substitutes Make You Fat?

 This week, there's been much discussion about a recent study involving sugar substitutes.   Time Magazine references the study in its article entitled Can Sugar Substitutes Make You Fat?   The article seems to point to weight gain in animal test subjects who were fed artificially sweetened substances, owing to the fact that they consumed more than their sugar-fed counterparts.

Regardless of the details of the study, I enjoy hearing about research like this because it gives me pause to stop and think about the state of my own nutrition.  As a Catholic, during this period of Lent I have cut back drastically on my sugar substitute intake thanks to my chosen Lenten fast.  For Lent, the only beverage I am consuming is water, so my normal diet soda fix has been missing the past few weeks.  I can't say that I've noted any other impact on my caloric intake from not taking in a bunch of artificial sweetener each day – but now that I've read the study information I will probably pay closer attention.

Along with exercising and resting properly, we know that eating "whole" foods as much as possible is best for our bodies.  If we stick with obtaining our sugar through fruits and other natural resources, we're probably on the right track.  This week's study will not likely have a major impact on my nutritional life, but it will prompt me to stop and consider my diet a little more carefully – and that's a sweet thing!


Lisa Hendey, Catholic wife and mom, is the founder and webmaster of and the author of A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms: 52 Companions for Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul and The Handbook for Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and hosts the Catholic Moments Podcast. Visit her at

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