The Bitter Reality of Artificial Sweeteners: Are they really harmful to your body?
By offering sweetness without provoking calories, artificial sweeteners are now considered as the ultimate solution for effective weight loss, worldwide.
While artificial sweeteners might pose some benefits in terms of reducing calorie intake, this benefit usually comes at the expense of many bad effects on our health as well as the overall body. Artificial sweeteners have always been shrouded in controversy, since the first no-cal sweetener – saccharin, was discovered back in 1878.
Ever since, there has been a lot of debate about people having an aversion towards non-sugar sweeteners such as aspartame – one of the most commonly used and popular artificial sweetener around.
So what do health care experts have to say about artificial sweeteners?
Many experts of health care, so far, have proposed that high-intensity/non-caloric sweeteners such as sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin are just a less damaging alternative to real sugar. Yet again, there are many confusing claims that have been cited for many years, claiming artificial sweeteners to have unclear effects, including both that are potentially helpful and potentially harmful, in terms of the overall health of the body.
In fact, as per the new evidence, people substituting sugar for these alternatives are at an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, weight gain, type 2 diabetes and even cardiovascular disease and that is too, without necessarily fulfilling the promise of losing your weight.
So is artificial sugar, which is used in countless products nowadays, really that terrible for our health?
Undoubtedly, in some ways, artificial sweeteners do trick our body, which in turns poses some unpleasant effects on our health. To assist you further, let us discuss some of these tricks below.
Sweeteners trick our gut
“Your gut gets confused when you take zero calorie yet super sweet artificial sweeteners” says; Susan Swithers, Ph.D. professor at Purdue University.
When you take sweetener, your gut is signaled by the mouth that a high-calorie substance is on its way. However, there is no high-calorie intake by your body, which simply causes an inefficient utilisation of food and also causes a cascading effect which interferes with the hunger signals of the body.
Sweeteners mess around with the body hormones
Part of this disturbing effect comes with the insulin hormone. It doesn’t matter what number of calories your food has, as soon as you taste a sweet substance, your body starts releasing insulin. Insulin causes blood sugar spike and eventually increases cravings. The research by Swithers’ also stated that these artificial sweeteners simply prevent the production of the GLP-1 hormone in your body, which is essential for controlling blood sugar levels and also satiety feelings.
Combined, these two body hormones going haywire may cause you to eat more by feeling hungrier.
Sweeteners are genetically modified
If the preceding two reasons are not enough to emphasise the harmful effects of non-sugar sweeteners, then you must know that they are another genetically modified crop in your diet. Sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, erythritol and neotame are all made from sugar beets, corn or soy and a variety of these crops are genetically altered to produce or resist harmful pesticides.
Ultimately, no food is dangerous, if taken in moderation, if you have diabetes or trying to lose weight, the best option is drink lots of water and give the artificial sweeteners a miss.
Sue Carberry promotes an organic and holistic approach to life you can contact Sue to book an Aromatherapy or Therapeutic Massage.