The Unhealthy Secret Behind Artificial Sweeteners

artificial sweeteners side effects

More than two-thirds of Indian population including children are today a victim of obesity. The vigilant population is now looking for ideas to cut calories. One of such steps is cutting refined sugar and switching on to artificial sweeteners.

What are artificial sweeteners?

artificial sweeteners list

Artificial sweeteners are non-nutritive, sugar substitutes that are used as a food additive. They provide a sweet taste but are virtually calorie free. Most of them are produced synthetically. However, there are also some natural options such as stevia.

Artificial sweeteners (we are mostly talking about synthetic sweeteners) are being publicized as sugar substitutes with zero calories that will help you reduce weight. Don’t it seems to be an effective weight loss formula. But the truth is far from what is being touted. Artificial sweeteners are no use. They will no doubt satisfy your sweet tooth without any calorie but they are as bad and unhealthy as refined sugars. The health issues range from a mild headache to a migraine and from weight gain to serious cardiac problems.

Team Fitso is dedicated towards healthy weight loss. Considering it our duty to aware you of the truth we reveal the hidden dangers of artificial sweeteners in this article.

Hidden dangers of artificial sweeteners

  1. Makes you eat more

artificial sweeteners side effects: eat more

A study conducted on fruit flies by the ‘University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre and School of life’ shows that when these files consumed artificial sweeteners along with a low carbohydrate diet they showed an increase in the intake of food. However, there was variation in the increase, according to the dose of artificial sweeteners. When artificial sweeteners were given along with high carb diet food consumption didn’t increase, but again when the high carb diet was given along with a high dose of artificial sweeteners the food consumption of fruit flies increased.

So, if you are consuming sugar substitutes to lose weight you need to think once again.

artificial sweeteners

Our body does not react to artificial sweeteners the same way it reacts with sugars. Even if artificial sugars do not contain calorie but they are sweet and so your body will release insulin. As a result the blood sugar level spikes and increases the craving.

Studies also reveal that production of GLP-1 which is a hormone that controls the level of blood sugar is prevented by non-nutritive sweeteners and this contributes in making you feel hungry and eat more.

  1. Interferes with body’s hunger signals

artificial sweeteners confuse body signal

When you eat something sweet your gut anticipates that it is a high-calorie food. As a non-nutritive sweetener arrives your gut, your gut gets tricked, it does not use the food efficiently and the end result is that hunger signals are affected.

3. Artificial sweeteners are not good for friendly gut bacteria

The good bacteria that promote digestion in our gut are changed in the presence of these compounds and results into indigestion.

4. Increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and heart diseases

artificial sweeteners side effects

If we consume fewer calories we lose weight and stay slim. It is considered that as artificial sweeteners are not sugar but a substitute, they do not spike the level of blood sugar and thus should reduce the risk of diabetes. But research shows that many times these non-nutritive sugar substitutes have failed to arm against obesity and diabetes. It has been found that individuals who are consuming them on regular basis are more at the risk of developing atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. They are also found to develop glucose intolerance resulting in an increase in the level of blood glucose.

5. Tricks our taste buds

artificial sweeteners side effects: change taste buds

Non-nutritive sweeteners are 100- 1000 times sweeter than table sugar. After your taste buds are exposed to highly intensified artificial sweeteners they become less receptive towards food sources of natural sweetness for example fruits. Eventually, taste buds get dull. Likewise, artificial sweeteners cause addiction to overly sweet foods by retraining your taste buds to crave for more sweet foods, leading to type 2 diabetes, obesity, and kidney damage.

Besides harming your body artificial sweeteners are polluting your water sources and environment. Synthetic artificial sweeteners are designed in such a way that they cannot be broken don’t to release calories. But this makes them so potent that they are not even broken down by oxygen, light or microbes and thus pollutes our water sources.

artificial sweeteners products

Let me bring one more fact to your acknowledgment that Sucralose, Neotame, erythritol, and aspartame are made by three major crops soy, corn or sugar beets. Research shows that majority of these crops are altered to produce or resist harmful pesticides. If you are consuming them you are consuming products of genetically altered crops.

There are studies where FDA claims that non-nutritive sugar substitutes ARE safe and rules out the risk of cancer. But these studies were conducted using a very small dose (smaller than 24 ounces). No research has been evaluated to know how safe artificial sweeteners are when the portion size increases out of control.

Now let us have a look at artificial sweeteners list.

artificial sweeteners list

  • Aspartame
  • Acesulfame potassium
  • Cyclamate
  • Dulcin
  • Alitame
  • Equal
  • Glucan
  • Mogrosides
  • Kaltame
  • Neotame
  • NutraSweet
  • Phenylalanine
  • Saccharin
  • Nutrinova
  • Splenda
  • Sucralose
  • Twinsweet
  • Sorbitol
  • Sweet ‘N Low
  • Xylitol

It is very important to recognize these non-nutritive sweeteners. They may also be an ingredient in beverages, prepared foods, and medication. Mostly they are hidden in:

products use artificial sweeteners

  • Mouthwash
  • Toothpaste
  • Chewable vitamins
  • Cough syrup
  • Liquid medicines
  • Chewing gum
  • No-calorie drinks
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Frozen desserts
  • Salad dressings
  • Candies
  • Baked goods
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Yogurt
  • Processed foods
  • Prepared meats
  • Nicotine gum

Thus, before buying any food, read the label carefully and refrain yourself and your family members from consuming them.

Drawing advertisements promoting zero calories, non-nutritive sugar substitutes are misleading. The only purpose behind is to sell the products and make money. The cost you pay is not just monetary but also your precious health. Better avoid them and switch on to more healthy and natural substitutes such as pomegranate juice, raw honey, blackstrap molasses, coconut sugar, fruit puree, maple syrup or stevia.

Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta

Professionally homeopathic physician and dietician Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta is passionate about writing health and parenting blogs. She believes in a holistic approach to well-being and health.

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