Artificial Sweeteners: Friend or Foe?

sugar substitutes

Artificial Sweeteners: Friend or Foe? 

 

 

Artificial sweeteners are marketed as a healthy alternative to sugar. They come in pill or liquid form and can be found in any store. From saccharin and aspartame to sucralose, there are dozens of options available. However, opinions are divided regarding their safety. 

Health experts claim that artificial sweeteners retrain the taste buds to crave sugar, leading to diabetes, obesity, and insulin resistance. Several studies have linked these products to a higher risk of cancer and heart disease. Food manufacturers, on the other hand, are saying that artificial sweeteners are safe when consumed in low doses. The truth is somewhere in the middle. 

The Potential Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners

 

 

Artificial sweeteners have been around for over a century. These products appeal to those who want to cut back on sugar, eat healthier, or lose weight. Statistics show that 40 percent of Americans use them on a daily basis. Even those sugar substitutes are approved by the FDA, it doesn’t mean they’re safe.

According to researchers, these products alter the gut flora, which in turn, causes glucose intolerance. This raises your risk of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Other studies have found that aspartame, one of the most popular artificial sweeteners, has potential carcinogenic effects. It may also increase oxidative stress in the body, affect memory, and reduce brain performance

A recent study revealed that consuming sugar substitutes while pregnant may predispose babies to obesity and metabolic disorders in adulthood. Sucralose, another common sweetener, has been linked to leukemia, and sugar addiction. 

Acesulfame K impairs liver and kidney function and affects eyesight. Saccharin contributes to indigestion, nausea, and several types of cancer. Other potential side effects of artificial sweeteners include depression, anxiety, brain fog, joint pain, brain tumors, headaches, and fatigue.

 

 

Are There Any Healthy Alternatives to Sugar? 

Fortunately, there are ways to replace sugar in your diet and stay healthy. Stevia, the only natural sweetener, appears to be safe. No side effects have been reported so far. 

You can also use fruit purees, fruit juice, vanilla extract, cinnamon, or honey. Even though these foods have calories, they’re healthier than sugar. Just like everything, moderation is the key. 

 

 

 

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