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.

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But always around the corner from PERFECTIONISM is self-abuse. 

That’s because “the state of perfect” doesn’t actually exist. It’s a destination that so many people want to get to that isn’t even on the map. Once we put all our efforts into perfect eating, perfect exercise, and following our diet perfectly – eventually, we will stray. Flawlessness is an unsustainable state. I don’t know a single person who’s ever resided there permanently. The usual response when we fall off the pedestal of perfect is some version of self-attack, self hate, and self criticism. We might even jump to “screw it, I tried to be perfect and I couldn’t, so now I’m going to throw it all out the window and just trash my body with food.” How predictable is that? Or we might re-double our efforts, become dramatically more uptight, and once again submit ourselves to the demanding perfectionist taskmaster within. All the while, we’re spending our life energy on something that we can never have.

But always around the corner from PERFECTIONISM is self-abuse.

That’s because “the state of perfect” doesn’t actually exist. It’s a destination that so many people want to get to that isn’t even on the map. Once we put all our efforts into perfect eating, perfect exercise, and following our diet perfectly – eventually, we will stray. Flawlessness is an unsustainable state. I don’t know a single person who’s ever resided there permanently. The usual response when we fall off the pedestal of perfect is some version of self-attack, self hate, and self criticism. We might even jump to “screw it, I tried to be perfect and I couldn’t, so now I’m going to throw it all out the window and just trash my body with food.” How predictable is that? Or we might re-double our efforts, become dramatically more uptight, and once again submit ourselves to the demanding perfectionist taskmaster within. All the while, we’re spending our life energy on something that we can never have.
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This was totally not planned but now looking at this dish it makes for a perfect addition to any holiday party!

Just roast potatoes, red peppers, zucchini and asparagus at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes, with EVOO, salt and pepper, or any herbs you fancy,  et voila!

#christmasonthemind #holidays #parties #anytime #foodie #yum #roastedveggies #wholefoods #glutenfree #festivetime #delicious #anyoccasion #merry #potatoes #nutritionist #nomnomnom

This was totally not planned but now looking at this dish it makes for a perfect addition to any holiday party!

Just roast potatoes, red peppers, zucchini and asparagus at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes, with EVOO, salt and pepper, or any herbs you fancy, et voila!

#christmasonthemind #holidays #parties #anytime #foodie #yum #roastedveggies #wholefoods #glutenfree #festivetime #delicious #anyoccasion #merry #potatoes #nutritionist #nomnomnom
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Have you joined my FREE 5-Day Sugar-Free Challenge yet? Youd be surprised how easy it is when its only 5 days, and also how much more energy youll have when its over!

Go to http://Tracyhoule.com and sign up today, and join the private Facebook group too for ongoing support.

Or use the #linkinbio to sign up today!

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Have you joined my FREE 5-Day Sugar-Free Challenge yet? You'd be surprised how easy it is when it's only 5 days, and also how much more energy you'll have when it's over!

Go to Tracyhoule.com and sign up today, and join the private Facebook group too for ongoing support.

Or use the #linkinbio to sign up today!

#sugarfree #liberate #bitters #sugar #justintime #fortheholidays #feelgood #befree #support #sugarcravings #glutenfree #dairyfree #startnow #CSNN #health #wellness #fridayvibes #energy #mood #nomorecravings #forthewin #delicious #recipes #getstarted
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