The worst culprits are aspartame (found in Equal and NutraSweet), sucralose (found in Splenda), and saccharin (found in Sweet 'N Low). Many people who eliminate artificial sugars from their diets report that many health problems have improved, including migraines, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, weight gain, and more. What many people don't realize is that artificial sweeteners can also cause a dangerous addiction, an addiction to foods that are too sweet. They retrain the taste buds so that they need more and more and more, increasingly sweet foods.
This leads to an even higher incidence of obesity, type 2 diabetes, kidney damage, and more. Holly Strawbridge, former editor of Harvard Health, points out that while FDA studies have “ruled out the cancer risk of non-nutritive sweeteners,” all studies conducted were based on doses significantly smaller than the average of 24 ounces per day of diet soda. As portion sizes continue to increase uncontrollably with 30-ounce, 40-ounce and even 50-ounce fountain refreshments, it's vital to recognize that these portions have not been evaluated for safety. In addition, another study on the effects of artificial sweeteners on atherosclerosis found that daily consumption of beverages with artificial sweeteners creates a 35 percent higher risk of metabolic syndrome and a 67 percent higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
Atherosclerosis occurs when plaque builds up inside the arteries and causes strokes, heart attacks, and even death. This study found that aspartame can affect memory performance and increase oxidative stress in the brain. Also, if you're pregnant or breastfeeding, avoid this dangerous artificial sweetener at all costs. A recent study points to alarming news for women who consume artificial sweeteners while pregnant or breastfeeding.
It appears that aspartame, in particular, may predispose infants to metabolic syndrome disorders and obesity later in life. Human and rodent studies show that sucralose can alter levels of glucose, insulin and glucagon-like peptide 1.Last but not least, it is not biologically inert, meaning that it can be metabolized and have a toxic effect on the body. Unfortunately, it is the primary sweetener of medicines for children, such as chewable aspirin, cough syrup, and other over-the-counter and prescription medicines. Saccharin is thought to contribute to photosensitivity, nausea, digestive distress, tachycardia, and some types of cancer.
Instead, you end up feeling less satisfied and more likely to eat and drink more, resulting in weight gain, in addition to suffering the dangerous side effects associated with artificial sweeteners. Critics of artificial sweeteners say they cause a variety of health problems, including cancer. This is largely due to studies dating back to the 1970s that linked the artificial sweetener saccharin to bladder cancer in laboratory rats. Because of these studies, saccharin once wore a label warning that it could be hazardous to health.
As with common sugar, consuming large amounts of raw cane sugar can contribute to weight gain and promote the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes (. Summary: Like regular sugar, raw cane sugar is composed of sucrose and can contribute to weight gain and the development of diseases if consumed in excess. Some research indicates that the use of calorie-free sweeteners such as saccharin instead of regular sugar may reduce calorie intake and promote weight loss (. However, saccharin can also harm your health.
Several animal studies have found that consuming saccharin can cause alterations in the gut microbiome and reduce good gut bacteria, which play a central role in everything from immune function to digestive health (7, 8,. However, more research is needed to evaluate how saccharin may affect the general health of humans. Summary: Saccharin is a non-nutritive sweetener that can help you lose weight by reducing your calorie intake. However, it can also alter the gut microbiome, which is involved in many aspects of health and disease.
That said, some studies suggest that aspartame may be harmful to waistline and health. For example, a review of 12 studies found that using aspartame instead of sugar did not reduce calorie intake or body weight (1). Sucralose is most commonly found in the artificial calorie-free sweetener Splenda, which is often used instead of sugar to sweeten hot beverages such as coffee or tea. For example, several animal studies have found that sucralose may be linked to a reduction in good gut bacteria, an increased risk of inflammation, and weight gain (16, 17, 1).
Baking with sucralose can also be dangerous due to the formation of chloropropanols, which are chemical compounds that are considered toxic (19, 20). Summary: Sucralose is commonly found in Splenda. Research shows that this sweetener can decrease beneficial gut bacteria, increase inflammation, and cause weight gain. Acesulfame K, also known as acesulfame potassium or Ace-K, is often combined with other sweeteners due to its slightly bitter taste.
In fact, some researchers have called for further evaluation of their potential carcinogenic effects, citing inadequate and defective testing methods that were originally used to determine their safety (2). While a 40-week study found that Ace-K had no carcinogenic effects on mice, no other recent research has evaluated whether it can affect cancer growth (2). For example, a 40-week study with mice found that regular use of Ace-K altered mental function and memory (2). Another study with 4-week-old mice).
demonstrated that Ace-K increased weight gain in male animals and negatively altered the intestine bacteria in both sexes (2). In addition, research shows that xylitol may be especially effective in preventing tooth decay in children with minimal risk of adverse effects (2). It has also been associated with other health benefits in animal and test tube studies, such as reduced bacterial growth and increased bone volume and collagen production (27, 28, 2). However, xylitol can have a laxative effect at high doses and cause digestive disorders, such as loose stools and gas (30).
It can also cause symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is a chronic condition that affects the large intestine and causes symptoms such as stomach pain, gas, diarrhea and constipation (3). Also, keep in mind that xylitol is very toxic to dogs and can cause low blood sugar levels, liver failure, and even death (32, 3). However, studies show that regular fructose intake is associated with an increased risk of fatty liver disease and insulin resistance. What can affect long-term blood sugar control (37, 3).
Fructose intake can also increase levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides, which are the main risk factors for heart disease (3). Unlike other sweeteners, it has only about 60% of the sweetening power of regular sugar and contains a third fewer calories (40). Consuming large amounts of sorbitol can cause digestive problems such as bloating, gas, stomach pain, cramps and diarrhea, especially in people with IBS (41, 42, 4). For example, raw honey is often considered a good alternative to regular sugar because of its ability to promote wound healing, lower triglyceride levels, and lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol (44).
Studies show that excessive sugar consumption may be associated with a higher risk of heart disease, depression, weight gain and blood sugar control problems (46, 47, 4) You know where to look for natural sugars in your diet, but what about processed sweeteners? Here's what you need to know about diabetes and sucralose. The FDA has approved 6 artificial sweeteners. The main ones are sucrose (Splenda), saccharin (Sweet 'n Low), etc. The others are acesulfame potassium, neotame and advantame, each chemically manufactured to be many times sweeter than sugar.
They usually have some calories from bulking agents. The FDA says they're safe, but they're still highly controversial. Sugar substitutes can make you want more sweet and sugary foods. Studies link artificial sweeteners, considered safe in moderation, to an increased risk of glucose intolerance, a precursor to prediabetes and diabetes.
Summary: Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that contains fewer calories than sugar and is often added to sugar-free foods and beverages. Of the eight sugar alcohols regulated by the FDA, xylitol is the most common and is almost as sweet as table sugar, but it has about 60 percent of its calories. If you're trying to reduce sugar and calories from your diet, you may be turning to artificial sweeteners or other sugar substitutes. .