Bitter Sweet Truth - The low down on Artificial Sweeteners

Updated: Apr 26, 2018

Is diet soft drink really bad for me? 

Do artificial sweeteners cause cancer?

I get questions like this all the time from clients and friends, and If you ask most of us health professionals or health conscious individuals about our thoughts on sugar and wellbeing, most would agree that reducing your sugar intake is the way to go.  

Added sugars are in everything these days. And ingesting too much refined sugar spikes your blood sugar and insulin levels causing a whole heap of issues. 

Removing sugar especially soft drinks is a small change which actually has a huge impact on your health and weight loss journey. 

So not too long ago the food industry decided that to create foods that still tasted great and keeping up with the low calorie phase they introduced the artificial sweeteners (synthetic chemicals). 

The idea behind them was to be able to have the sweetness without the calories! 

Like having diet instead of regular soft drink. 

Most diet soft drinks are made up of synthetic chemicals that offer absolutely no nutritional value. I would actually prefer my clients drank the regular sugar filled versions if they absolutely had to have soft drink for whatever reason. Not that, that is an invite to do so!

I have met many people who were consuming literally litres of diet soft drink a day and then wondering why they weren't able to lose weight. 

You have got to ditch diet soft drink and replace it with water.

Are artificial sweeteners harmful to the body?

Now this is the million dollar question!

The word “chemicals” freaks most people out. In naturally sets off a danger alarm within our brain, this especially when its something we are putting into our bodies but the thing we need to remember is that everything we eat or drink is made up of chemicals. 

Benzaldehyde, Nonane, Pentanal, Stearic Acid, Methylparaben are some pretty scary names but theyre all found in the common blueberry! 

So do they cause cancer? 

Maybe yes, Maybe no. 

Do they cause heart disease, maybe yes, maybe no?

However be aware that certain artificial sweeteners have been found to cause unpleasant side effects; most commonly - headaches from aspartame, and diarrhoea from chemicals like sorbitol, Lactitol and mannitol (sugar alcohols).

What concerns me is the if you are having artificial sweeteners with hope that you’ll keep the weight off, studies have shown that doing so may actually be associated with weight gain and increased risk of type 2 diabetes. 

Scientists believe this is due to the stimulation of taste receptors in our esophagus and stomach. 

Just like normal sugar, artificial sweeteners trigger the same sensors that in turn cause the pancreas to release insulin, the hormone that tells our cells to absorb sugar (glucose). 

But what if there’s no glucose to absorb?

Researches have suggested that the body gets confused when it tastes sweetness without the calories so this can cause things like your body being confused by lack of calories therefore becoming hungrier and wanting to eat more food. Or it could lead to false insulin spikes. 

Understand that added sugar is not good for you, but the solution may not be to replace them all with artificial sweeteners. 

The artificial sweetener in soft drinks and other products is so much sweeter than actual, real sugar, so your tolerance and taste for sugar get reset, requiring more sugar to satisfy your sweet cravings. 

If you have a strong love for diet soft drinks, its time to think about cutting back. I suggest you increase your water intake and crowd out the soft drinks you are having every day. However you choose to give them up, keep in mind that there really is no benefit from drinking diet soft drinks, not even or your waist. 

Are you a soft drink lover?

You might also like my blog post review on 'that sugar film'

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© 2019 Copyright | Food.Fitness.Wellness | rebecca neale
{My personal opinions and journey should not be mistaken for professional medical or healthcare advice}