The Truth Behind Artificial Sweeteners

You probably know the negative health effects of eating too much sugar, especially “added sugars” like in soda pop, candy, baked goods, and many commercially-available cereals, just to name a few. Added sugar is hiding just about everywhere in the grocery store

Yes, ingesting refined sugar spikes your blood sugar and insulin, and increases your risk for a whole host of issues.

A while ago, one of the food industry’s responses to the demand for lower-calorie foods that still taste great, was artificial sweeteners.

The idea behind them is that you can still get the sweetness, without the calories; like when you have a “diet pop” versus a regular one. Theoretically, this was going to help people maintain a healthy body weight, and hopefully not increase anyone’s risk of heart disease, diabetes, or obesity.

But, it doesn’t always work out the way we think it will…

 

TYPES OF ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS

 

Sugar substitutes fall into several categories, but what they all have in common is that they have a sweet taste and fewer calories than plain sugar.

Today we’ll specifically discuss “artificial sweeteners,” which are synthetic chemicals where a tiny bit tastes very sweet.

They’re also known as “non-nutritive sweeteners,” and include things like:

  • Saccharin (Sweet & Low),
  • Acesulfame potassium,
  • Aspartame (Equal & NutraSweet), and
  • Sucralose (Splenda).

 

HEALTH EFFECTS OF ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS

 

Negative health effects from artificial sweeteners are cited all over the place, and while many studies show effects, others don’t. Cancer? Maybe yes, maybe no. Heart disease? Maybe yes, maybe no. Not to mention that much of the research has been on animals, which may or may not translate to people.

I did want to point out one ironic thing, to do with artificial sweeteners and weight.

One study found that people who tend to drink diet sodas have double the risk of gaining weight than those who didn’t.

Another study has shown an increased risk for metabolic syndrome and diabetes for those who consume diet drinks every day.

While these results don’t apply equally to everyone, they do somehow seem ironic, don’t they?

 

HOW DO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS AFFECT OUR BODIES?

 

Now that’s a million-dollar question!

There are so many ideas out there to try to explain it, but the reality is we don’t know for sure; plus, it might play out differently in different people.

  • Is it because people feel that they can eat cake because they’ve switched to diet soda?
  • Perhaps it’s because the sweeteners change the taste preferences so that fruit starts to taste worse, and veggies taste terrible?
  • Maybe artificial sweeteners increase our cravings for more (real) sweets?
  • It can be that the sweet taste of these sweeteners signals to our body to release insulin to lower our blood sugar; but, because we didn’t actually ingest sugar, our blood sugar levels get too low, to the point where we get sugar cravings.
  • Some even say (and at least one animal study suggests) that saccharin may inspire addictive tendencies toward it.
  • Maybe there is even a more complex response that involves our gut microbes and how they help to regulate our blood sugar levels.

 

CONCLUSION:

 

Understand that added sugar is not good for you, but the solution may not be to replace them all with artificial sweeteners.

I highly recommend reducing your sugar intake, so you naturally re-train your palate and start enjoying the taste of real food that isn’t overly sweet. This way you’re reducing your intake of added sugar, as well as not needing to replace it with artificial sweeteners.

Try having ½ teaspoon less of sugar in your hot morning drink. Try reducing a ¼ cup of the sugar called for in some recipes. Try diluting juice with water.

Your body will thank you!

 

RECIPE (naturally sweetened): Sweet Enough Matcha Latte

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

1 teaspoon matcha powder
1.5 cup almond milk, unsweetened
1-2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat almond milk and maple syrup/honey (if using) in a small pot.
  2. Add matcha powder to cup.
  3. When almond milk is hot, add about a ¼ cup to matcha and stir to combine.
  4. Add rest of the milk to cup.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can steep a chai tea bag in the milk if you prefer chai tea over matcha.

References:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/artificial-sweeteners-sugar-free-but-at-what-cost-201207165030

https://authoritynutrition.com/artificial-sweeteners-blood-sugar-insulin/

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/research-review-splenda-is-it-safe

https://chriskresser.com/the-unbiased-truth-about-artificial-sweeteners/

About Me


Hi, I’m Tracy! I create food solutions to feed your life goals. I’m a Nutritionist, chocoholic + superhero fan. Mom to three, wife to one, crazy about all four, and food! When you work with me you’ll learn to savour life and nourish all that it has to offer.

The Culinary Nutrition Expert Program

Latest Pics

Follow Me

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

1 day ago

Tracy Houle Nutrition
I’m not saying be perfect in what you eat!

Did you read my blog post about Creating A Mindset For Health?

https://tracyhoule.com/health_mindset/

But, our modern, inflammatory, convenience foods seem to be the go-to most days when it used to be home cooked meals most days with convenience foods sometimes.

Ya, I ordered pizza and bought chips and sweet treats for my daughters birthday party, her request. And I didn’t think twice.

To a certain degree our bodies are suppose to be able to deal with some toxic load, but if you experience ANY symptoms - you’ve reached your toxic load capacity!

I’m not trying to “balance” here. I’m trying to do my best, for me and my family, on as many days as I can.

But since this household is thriving, I chose convenience with less nutrient dense foods, in the hopes that my day to day effort will trump these rare occasions. And I feel like I need to be honest about the fact that it’s not perfect in this nutrition-mom household.

I help folks create the space in their lives for day-to-day health, and reverse the damage caused by toxic load through food, and uncover the emotional connections to our eating habits so that they can feel comfortable and habituated with food choices and never guilt!

DM me if you want to learn more!
.
.
#compassion #forself #nutritionist #functionalfoods #foodforthought #mindbodyeatingcoach #anxiety #eatingpsychology #food #pizza #convenience #partytime #girls #mindbodynutrition #commitment  @ Oakville, OntarioImage attachment

I’m not saying be perfect in what you eat!

Did you read my blog post about Creating A Mindset For Health?

tracyhoule.com/health_mindset/

But, our modern, inflammatory, convenience foods seem to be the go-to most days when it used to be home cooked meals most days with convenience foods sometimes.

Ya, I ordered pizza and bought chips and sweet treats for my daughters birthday party, her request. And I didn’t think twice.

To a certain degree our bodies are suppose to be able to deal with some toxic load, but if you experience ANY symptoms - you’ve reached your toxic load capacity!

I’m not trying to “balance” here. I’m trying to do my best, for me and my family, on as many days as I can.

But since this household is thriving, I chose convenience with less nutrient dense foods, in the hopes that my day to day effort will trump these rare occasions. And I feel like I need to be honest about the fact that it’s not perfect in this nutrition-mom household.

I help folks create the space in their lives for day-to-day health, and reverse the damage caused by toxic load through food, and uncover the emotional connections to our eating habits so that they can feel comfortable and habituated with food choices and never guilt!

DM me if you want to learn more!
.
.
#compassion #forself #nutritionist #functionalfoods #foodforthought #mindbodyeatingcoach #anxiety #eatingpsychology #food #pizza #convenience #partytime #girls #mindbodynutrition #commitment @ Oakville, Ontario
... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

I always enjoy reading your posts ! They are very informative, interesting and to the point! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us !

It’s FRI-NALLY FRI-YAY!!! 🍟
🤸🏻‍♀️🍾🤗
Slice your sweet potato into strips.

Toss with avocado oil and arrowroot  powder or potato starch until coated well.

Bake at 400F for 30-35 minutes!

That’s it!! Enjoy!!

#fastfood #foodie #homemade #fries #sweetpotato #delicious #yum #buzzfeedfood #instapic #sweet #food #fresh #organic #feed #friyayvibes #goodeats #tastebuds #nutritionist #thekitchn #cleaneats #hungry #foodpics #foodgawker

It’s FRI-NALLY FRI-YAY!!! 🍟
🤸🏻‍♀️🍾🤗
Slice your sweet potato into strips.

Toss with avocado oil and arrowroot powder or potato starch until coated well.

Bake at 400F for 30-35 minutes!

That’s it!! Enjoy!!

#fastfood #foodie #homemade #fries #sweetpotato #delicious #yum #buzzfeedfood #instapic #sweet #food #fresh #organic #feed #friyayvibes #goodeats #tastebuds #nutritionist #thekitchn #cleaneats #hungry #foodpics #foodgawker
... See MoreSee Less

3 days ago

Tracy Houle Nutrition
Guys! It’s the ultimate lazy persons dinner! But in this case it’s about using up the last of the veggies on-hand.😉

Literally emptied out the veggie tray I purchased a few days ago onto the pan with some steelhead salmon! 🤷🏻‍♀️

Plus some pre-chopped and washed lettuce. It’s more than 5 ingredients but less than 5 steps at least! 💁🏻‍♀️

Don’t forget to check out the blog about Creating A Mindset For Health!
.
https://tracyhoule.com/health_mindset/ 
.
.
.
#easydinners #nofoodwasted #5ingredients15minutes #fastfood #wholefoods #qualityoverquantity #nutritionist #functionalfood #health #matters #notdiet #lifestyle #thursdaymotivation 

 @ Oakville, OntarioImage attachment

Guys! It’s the ultimate lazy persons dinner! But in this case it’s about using up the last of the veggies on-hand.😉

Literally emptied out the veggie tray I purchased a few days ago onto the pan with some steelhead salmon! 🤷🏻‍♀️

Plus some pre-chopped and washed lettuce. It’s more than 5 ingredients but less than 5 steps at least! 💁🏻‍♀️

Don’t forget to check out the blog about Creating A Mindset For Health!
.
tracyhoule.com/health_mindset/
.
.
.
#easydinners #nofoodwasted #5ingredients15minutes #fastfood #wholefoods #qualityoverquantity #nutritionist #functionalfood #health #matters #notdiet #lifestyle #thursdaymotivation

@ Oakville, Ontario
... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Looks delicious! The salmon dish is less then 5 😉. The salad is a side !

Pin It on Pinterest