Kicking the sugar habit altogether is tough, so many people choose to go the route of using artificial sweeteners instead of sugar. Some artificial sweeteners come with side effects that range from severe headaches to weight gain and even cardiovascular disease. However, a recent study showed an even more severe problem, they may also increase your risk of diabetes.
Artificial sweeteners are actually sweeter than sugar.
Artificial sweeteners are actually sweeter than sugar and train the tastebuds to accept sweeter and sweeter foods. Like an addictive drug, eventually, the only food that will taste sweet are those laden with sugar or more artificial sweeteners. Since the body isn’t receiving calories, there’s no point of satiation. To fill that need, often people accompany the drink with high calorie foods. Everyone has seen someone or done this themselves, order a diet drink and a huge order of fries, high calorie dessert or a double burger. While you might be saving calories on the drink, your body still wants calories with the sweetness, which can cause overeating.
Artificial sweeteners interfere with metabolic functioning.
One study showed that artificial sweeteners consumed daily increased the risk of metabolic syndrome by 35 percent, while it also increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by a whopping 67 percent. The potential for type 2 diabetes begins as glucose intolerance. Studies show that daily consumption of drinks containing these sweeteners also can result in higher blood glucose levels. One theory is that it occurs when you frequently prepare the body to digest sugar, via the taste buds, but there are no calories available to digest. That occurs when you ingest artificial sweeteners that have a high sugar taste, but little if any calories.
There are artificial sweeteners everywhere.
You may immediately think of diet colas and other diet drinks or that little blue, yellow or pink packet you put in your coffee or tea, what you may not realize is that there are so many other foods that contain artificial sweeteners, so you may be ingesting far more than you think you are on a daily basis. Things as innocuous as children’s chewable vitamins, toothpaste and mouthwash may contain them. You probably already know about chewing gum and even some frozen yogurt or other desserts. Breakfast cereals, salad dressings, alcoholic beverages, processed snack foods and candy also has it in. Some processed meat products, yogurt and baked goods have it in, too. If you’re trying to live a healthier life and give up smoking, guess what, nicotine gum has artificial sweeteners, also.
- A recent study on aspartame found that it might impair memory, increase oxidative stress in the brain and even cause bouts of mania. It’s especially bad for pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding, since it can predispose babies to metabolic syndrome disorders when they get older and obesity.
- Artificial sweeteners may exacerbate symptoms in people with Crohn’s symptoms.
- Flying Safety, the United States Air Force official publication, warned US Air Force pilots to avoid food and drink containing Aspartame, no matter how small the amount. According to the publication, “Asparatame has been investigated as a possible cause of brain tumors, mental retardation, birth defects, epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes.”
- Besides messing with the balance of gut bacteria, as noted before, artificial sweeteners can effect metabolic functioning, which includes more than just maintaining blood glucose levels, but also maintaining normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.