News You Can Use: Regulating Your Saccharin Intake

Is too much saccharin -- like the sweeteners used in diet soda -- a bad thing for weight loss? A study released over the weekend links consumption of artificial sweeteners to weight gain. Read more about it and what you can do to limit your intake.

Click here for a press release from the American Psychological Association, which summarizes the latest Purdue University study on saccharin.

Click here to read the full study.

What steps should you take to cut back on your saccharin intake? Keith-Thomas Ayoob, a nutritionist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, offers the following suggestions below. Click here for his full opinion article on

Keep the soda and soft drinks to one daily. Have water or seltzer at other times.

Hold the sweetener packets to one or two in your drinks.

Add more water to powdered drink mixes than is called for. Gradually add more until you get used to a half-strength mix (this is more economical as well).

Sweets are occasional treats, so once or twice a week is occasional. Much more than that and it's a lifestyle, not a treat.

Try watery fruits for a sweet fix. Grapes and melons are even a great beverage substitute because they make you feel as if you're both drinking and eating.

Click here to read about a July 2007 study in the journal Circulation. which links soda -- even diet soda -- to an increase in other risk factors for heart disease. The researchers of the study reported that "those who said they drank a soda or more per day had a 31 percent greater chance of becoming obese, a 30 percent increased risk for gaining inches around the waist, a 25 percent chance of developing high blood sugar levels and a 32 percent greater chance of developing lower "good" cholesterol levels."

Dietitian and nutrition writer Janet Helm reminds us that "A Calorie Is a Calorie" and cutting calories may be as effective in weight loss as a combination of exercising and dieting.

How many excess calories should you be consuming as sugar? Fill in your information here to find out what you should be eating and what you might want to cut back on.