Colby Lemaster starts his day with an iced coffee, a splash of cream and a couple of packets of Splenda. "It will taste the same. It will be just as flavorful and yet a fraction of the calories, so why not do it?"
The American Heart Association says substituting artificial sweeteners for sugar added to food and drinks may help people reach a healthy weight and maintain it. It can also help diabetics control their blood sugar. Dr. Judith Wylie-Rosett is with Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "It can be a way of cutting calories. For every can of diet soda someone consumes, they can save 150 calories."
But the Heart Association acknowledges the jury is still out on whether sweeteners are an effective long term way to keep calories and sugars in check. If you're using artificial sweeteners or products that eliminate sugar experts say that doesn't mean you can eat more. "Somebody thinks 'I can have that piece of cream pie cause I put that sweetener in my coffee.'"
Lemaster says artificial sweeteners have really helped him cut his calories. "Every single day I have sweetener in my coffee and probably once a week I'm making or baking something with artificial sweetener."
He's also cut down on carbohydrates and butter and he's getting more exercise. Lifestyle changes that have helped him drop 114 pounds.Written By Wendy Damonte