One of the most common techniques or methods that we use if we want to lose weight is to cut on our sugar intake. I am a living testimony of this technique as I have used it a year ago when I decided to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Aside from cutting my sugar intake, I also counted my daily calorie intake to ensure that I don’t gain any more weight. With these strategies that I’ve placed, one thing that I have learned is to always look for food substitutes; foods that may have the same flavor or taste but with lower calories or sugar content.
Among the most common substitutes that the sweet tooth people go to satisfy their craving is the artificial sweeteners. Why not right? Artificial sweeteners provide a sweet taste but with lower calories. But the question now is if these sweeteners are really helpful to our health. Are there any possible health impacts that the sweeteners that we have to know?
To help you in this journey, here are the most important facts that you need to know about artificial sweeteners. With this information, I am really hoping that you can weigh the advantages and disadvantages of using artificial sweeteners.
A Bird’s Eye View of Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are substitutes to the common sugar. In order to produce artificial sweeteners, sucralose or the other natural sugar sources will undergo a chemical process that is of course approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This is the reason why most of the time, the sweeteners taste a lot sweeter as compared to common sugar but without the calories. They are very prevalent in sweet foods or beverages that are being promoted for not having sugar.
However, before using these, you have to ensure that you stick to those that have received the FDA approval. At the moment, there are six artificial sweeteners that have received the FDA’s go. These are the advantame, neotame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, aspartame and saccharin.
Impact of Artificial Sweeteners on Our Health
Now that we have provided an overview of artificial sweeteners, we can proceed with how do they impact our health. I bet that you have done a lot of online researching about them as you are eager to know the pros and cons before using them. There is a good chance that you have read or encountered a lot of articles stating the controversy surrounding the use of artificial sweeteners. Well, this article will not be one of those that will dwell too much on this controversy. This will be a factual one which will just offer you an extensive look on artificial sweeteners’ effect on the body.
Artificial Sweeteners Increase Our Appetite
Several clinical studies can testify to the claim that artificial sweeteners can boost our appetite. This is for the primary reason that the sweeteners provide a sweeter taste and tricks our mind to not limit our food intake as the artificial sweeteners don’t have calories on them. Once we trigger or boost our appetite, then it will hard for us to cut back on the volume of the food servings that we can finish. When this happens, expect a big weight gain in the coming days.
Artificial Sweeteners Can Cause Blood Sugar and Insulin Roller Coaster Ride
Although artificial sweeteners do not have calorie content, these still have an effect on our blood sugar and can put your life to danger. You might be wondering why. This is because science tells us that our body produces insulin which metabolizes the sugar and turns them to energy once we have digested food that has sugar content. Since artificial sweeteners do not have sugar in them, when we digest it, the natural reaction of our body is to release insulin and look for the other stored sugar in our body. When this happens, we will definitely have low blood sugar which is bad for our health.
Artificial Sweeteners Can Result to Glucose Intolerance
If you think that they may only affect our blood sugar and body weight, then you have to think again. A study conducted on mice found that those who had taken artificial sweeteners boosted the bacteria in the gut that normally cause obesity. Another important finding of this study is that saccharin has caused the mice subjects to suffer from glucose intolerance.
My Two Cents Worth On This Subject
I agree with you that eating foods with high content of sugar is not good for our body and so is eating those with artificial sweeteners. If you compare the two, foods with common sugar can cause you to gain weight. On the other hand, eating those with artificial sweeteners may not be impacting your weight but may lead to alarming health conditions.
My stand on this subject is to just take everything else in moderation. If you are a sweet tooth like me, it is still best to look for natural alternatives to common sugar. Maple syrup or honey is healthier than artificial sweeteners, again, as long as you take them in moderation or at the minimum.
Another technique that you can do is to cut back on sweet foods that you eat. Instead of going for those with artificial sweeteners, I have a good suggestion for you. Satisfy your cravings by cutting the servings of the sweet foods that you are having on a daily or weekly basis. Do this and you can stay in your calorie count or your recommended daily sugar intake. Binge eating due to food or craving deprivation will also not be an issue. It is a win-win situation right?
One last point from my end. Keeping your sugar intake in moderation at all times will save you from future serious illnesses. Obesity, kidney failure, diabetes are among them. Cataract, blindness, and heart diseases are the other serious diseases that can affect you. So start today. Cut your sugar intake now. Favor foods with natural sugar alternatives instead of artificial sweeteners as these can also put your life at risk.