Here are the not so sweet facts about artificial sweeteners

At first glance, a sugar free soda sweetened by artificial sweeteners seems like a much healthier option for someone on a diet than a can of full sugar soda, and for some more appealing than a regular bottle of water or some natural fruit juice. However, breaking down what this artificial sweetener really is can come as a shock to those who swear by zero calorie diet drinks. Continue reading to open your eyes to the hidden facts about artificially sweetened beverages.

Sugar vs artificial sweetener

Understanding what you are putting into your body is the best way to begin your journey to a healthier life, so while a zero calorie can of pop may seem like a smarter choice than it’s sugary caloric counterpart, what is it exactly that you are drinking, and how does it differ from regular sugar? The sugar that we eat in baked goods, add to coffee, or drink in a can of pop is all derived from the plant sugar cane. Be that as it may, sugar can be found in many other natural or man-made forms like: fruit juices, tree sap/syrup, honey, and high-fructose corn syrup. Non-nutritive artificial sweeteners are chemically constructed alternatives to sugar which contain zero calories and zero glucose. Because regular sugar/glucose has a high calorie content, consuming less of it can help maintain a healthy weight, and can control/reduce the effects that arise from type 2 diabetes. Comparable to sugar, artificial sweeteners come in different varieties as well.

What are the different kinds of artificial sweetener?

There are 6 various artificial sweeteners right now: saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, sucralose, and stevia. Our bodies respond in a much different manner to these artificial sweeteners than it does to regular sugar. Due to the fact that chemically created alternatives are in fact much sweeter than natural sugars, the receptors that recognize sweetness can become overstimulated. The overstimulation may, in turn result in an intolerance for tastes that are not so concentratedly sweet like fruits or vegetables.

What are the side effects of Artificial sweetener?

Indirectly, a steady intake of artificial sweeteners may allow our body to place distance between consuming sugar and consuming calories. What this means is that the lack of calories may work against the fight to maintain a healthy weight in the long term. However the medical and long term side effects associated with the use of artificial sugars is harder to determine. What the FDA has determined is that diet drinks do not cause cancer; however, the tests that led to the FDA’s determination tested a far lower average consumption rate than many diet soda drinkers ingest. Separate from cancer concerns, drinkers should be aware of the other risks. Citing the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis study, drinking diet soda every day came with a 36% higher chance to develop metabolic syndrome, and you are 67% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Drinking diet soda isn’t what causes diabetes, it really comes later when natural sugar is consumed. When real sugar or glucose is taken in by the body after heavy use of artificial sweeteners, the body reacts by increasing glucose absorption.

Are artificial sweeteners bad for you?

Artificial sweeteners just like anything else is never good for you consumed in large quantities. It is important to remember that consuming real sugar in moderation is not a bad thing; if you are craving a sweet drink, why not try a natural fruit juice, packed with dietary sugars found in the fruits. With that said, it doesn’t give you a pass to go drink that same amount that you were drinking in diet soda in these sweet juices, just that balance in what we consume should be valued.
So, after reading all the facts, are you going to still be so fast to pick a diet soda over a bottle of water or the occasional fruit juice? Remember that if you are feeling unwell or sick the Vital Care Clinic has many locations around the GTA. We offer different services to accommodate your unique needs, so don’t hesitate to give us a call and schedule an appointment for a check up.

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Brampton West
Squire Ellis Medical Centre
Brampton East

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