The average American consumes over 70 pounds of sugar per year. With the increasing number of people with diabetes and obesity, the message is clear that one must start to cut back on sugar consumption. Many people think that by replacing their sugary drinks and foods with alternatives that are loaded with artificial sweeteners, they will be able to reduce their consumption of sugar without adding more calories.
However, these are not as beneficial as you’d think. Below are three of the benefits of minimizing your consumption of artificial sweeteners.
1. Foods with artificial sweeteners do not actually fee fully satisfied.
There is an increasing evidence in the concept that those who consume foods that are loaded with artificial sweeteners may actually end up taking in more calories than those who don’t. According to Yale University School of Medicine researchers, artificial sweeteners do not trigger the release of the hormone dopamine which is responsible for controlling one’s appetite. This is the hormone that gives the feeling of satiation.
According to Harvard School of Public Health professor of Nutrition Dr. David Ludwig, artificial sweeteners do not satisfy a person’s appetite with calories. While diet soda can satisfy your craving for something sweet, it won’t help in reducing your appetite.
2. Artificial sweeteners make you have a hyperactive sweet tooth.
Harvard School of Public Health professor of Nutrition Dr. David Ludwig, consumption of artificial sweeteners can limit your tolerance for more complex tastes. Because artificial sweeteners are 200 to 600 times sweeter compared to sugar, you will develop a greater tolerance for sweetness and will start to crave these super sweet foods the more of them you eat.
Eventually, more nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods will lose their appeal to use. Naturally sweet foods such as apples and carrots will also not taste as sweet for people who consistently consume artificially sweetened drinks and foods.
3. Consuming too much artificially sweetened foods can probably change your bacteria in a negative way.
Recently, Israeli scientists found that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose can be contributing factors to diabetes and obesity because they can affect the microbiome in your gut. Basically, this is a collection of bacteria that aids in food digestion, absorption of nutrients, and maintenance of the inner lining of the digestive system.
According to the study, artificial sweeteners disrupted the balance of bacteria present in the digestive system in mice, boosting blood sugar levels and increasing a certain gut bacteria’s growth which triggered storage of fat. Since there are no calories associated with the artificial sweeteners and there is nothing to digest, they pass directly into the gut and impacts millions of microbes in the digestive system.
If you think that artificial sweeteners are okay, think again. This article just proves that anything that is taken too much can have a negative effect on the body. Hence, it is important to regulate not only your consumption of sugar, but artificial sweeteners as well.