Nowadays, many people are using artificial sweeteners as a substitute for sugar. But many people do not know that these chemicals are dangerous. There are many studies in which are shown that the artificial sweeteners are leading to many serious side effects, such as neurological effects, weight gain and others. You may think that you will lose weight if you are using artificial sweeteners instead of sugar but you are wrong. You will gain weight. Over the last decades, we have learned about the side effects of sugar and how negatively impacts on our health. It is known fact that governments want people to reduce their sugar consumption and lose weight so they have approved the artificial sweeteners in misguided attempt to improve the health. Many people have tried to cake and eat it but the artificial sweeteners have opposite effects of what people have expected. They did not help up they have caused harms in our bodies. We know that fats are harmful but artificial sweeteners are too. They are taking a big place in the low – fat doctrine because they are free of calories. There are many studies in which are shown that artificial sweeteners are bad for the health but many people have difficulties to give up from them. We know that artificial sweeteners are synthetic chemicals which are designed to help us to manage blood sugar levels, reduce sugar consumption and lose weight. There are many artificial sweeteners, such as sugar alcohols; saccharin; acesulfame K; sucralose and aspartame. Artificial sweeteners are 200 – 400 times sweeter than sugar. This property is a reason why they are intended for health purposes so it means that a very small amount is needed to add sweetness. They do not have calories and they do not affect the blood sugar levels. But the safety of artificial sweeteners is questionable even they are approved by governments. It seems that consuming small amount of it is harmless but we add and consume artificial sweeteners from many foods. We add artificial sweeteners in our coffee. But also we eat cookies, candies and cereals, we chew gum and we brush our teeth with conventional toothpaste. Below we give the dietary sources of artificial sweeteners:
- Cereals, granola and granola bars
- Cookies, cakes and other pastries
- Breads and crackers
- Most products that touted as low – fat, low – calorie and sugar – free
- Low – fat yogurt and other dairy
- Condiments (ketchup, salad dressing, etc.)
- Diet sodas and other beverages that are low in calories
The artificial sweeteners are used in convenience, processed and packaged products and they do not support our health. These saying are putting us in thoughts if sugar is something good to get in the diet. But sugar has many side effects. This is a reason why you should consume natural sugars, for examples in fruits because they are low in glycemic load, high in fiber and highly – nutritious – nutrient dense. We know that the concentrated sugar which is consumed in large amounts can increase the insulin and blood glucose levels, increase oxygen radicals, inflammatory mediators and triglycerides and all of these factors are increasing the risk for chronic illnesses, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Side effects of artificial sweeteners
You should know that artificial sweeteners are not food. They are synthetic. We know that every “food – like” substance or chemical which we put into our bodies which it is not from the nature, will increase the toxic load that we carry. Every chemical which stay in some cell of our bodies and which hangs out for a while has the ability to damage the DNA. When the DNA of the cells gets all kaleidoscope and when we continue to eat foods which are reason for disease building, then we do not have what we need to reverse the damage. If the daily activities (such as sleep, digestion, the acidity levels, the way we handle the stress and the food we eat) are not working in the favor to repair the DNA, to improve the efficiency of the elimination pathways (lungs, kidneys, liver, skin, poop) and to improve the integrity of the cell membranes, then we are making a way for diseases to start building. Here are some side effects of the artificial sweeteners:
Weight gain and obesity
There are many doctors and people who think that artificial sweeteners are calorie – free option and this is a reason why we should include them in our foods to prevent obesity and lose weight. But in many studies were shown that artificial sweeteners have opposite benefits. There were 37 studies in which were followed over 400,000 people in which were shown that artificial sweeteners can increase the risk of obesity and weight gain but also the risk for more serious diseases, such as metabolic syndrome, hypertension and type II diabetes is increased. In other study which was done in 1980 in which were participating more than 3000 people in San Antonio was shown that people who had drunk two or more drinks sweetened with artificial sweeteners have doubled the risk of obesity and being overweight compared to people who did not drink any artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners do not have calories but they make us to gain weight. Our brain get faked out by the chemical sweeteners which are sweet when consume them, they are sweet on the tongue, but they do not give the same level of reward that non – chemicals sweeteners do, such as glucose and sucrose. When we do not consume calories, then we keep consuming more and more artificial sweeteners so this can lead to weight gain.
Diabetes and blood sugar
There are some people who are saying that the artificial sweeteners are perfect for diabetics because they do not impact the blood sugar levels. But this claim has also been false. There was one study in whichwere participating 61,440 women who were using artificial sweeteners over 20 years. In this study was found that artificial sweeteners can increase the risk of type II diabetes. There was another study in which were participating 6,000 middle – aged adults and it was said that artificially – sweetened soft drinks are increasing the risk of metabolic syndrome. Also it can lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and high blood sugar levels. In other studies are said that artificial sweeteners are disrupting the microbiome and they can lead to metabolic problems, such as impaired glucose tolerance.
There are many conventional and natural types of toothpaste which are making the artificial sweeteners better without causing them damage to our teeth. In one study was found that artificial sweeteners can make an argument with xylitol which is a sugar often found in the chewing gum and toothpaste because the artificial sweetener is not carcinogenic and it can help to prevent cavities. But in other studies were said that even artificial sweeteners are having less chances to cause cavities than sucrose but they still have the potential to demineralize the enamel and disrupt the metabolism of bacteria.
The gut microbiome
We know that the bacteria in our digestive tract is very important for the health. When we have a healthy balance of gut flora, then it will have good impact on the mood, immunity and digestion. There are some studies in which are said that the consumption of artificial sweeteners can alter the gut microbiota and this can cause some of the digestive distress and symptoms. There was one fecal study of animals in which was shown that the aspartame consumption can increase the bacteria in which is included Enterobacteriaceae which is a family of bacteria that is including salmonella and E. coli.
Cancer and tumors
There are some studies most of them are done on animals, in which are shown that artificial sweeteners can increase the tumor growth and development. These studies which are done on animals does not mean that this will happen to us but they say that the risk of it is big so this is a reason why you should be careful how much artificial sweeteners you include in your diet.
Other health risks
There are many areas in which artificial sweeteners can affect our health, such as
- They can affect the ability to learn and emotional function
- Ability to damage the liver
- They can accelerate the aging
- It can cause DNA damage
- It can trigger migraines
- They can lead to kidney decline
- They can cause neurotoxicity and neurological symptoms