Artificial sweeteners are usually sweeter than sugar but contain lesser calories.
Most of these sweeteners are either not metabolized at all or are incompletely metabolized. The incomplete metabolism often provides few calories and the ones that are not metabolized provide no calories at all. The former comes from nutritive sweeteners while the latter from non-nutritive sweeteners.
Artificial Sweeteners are not metabolized by our bodies because our bodies do not have the enzymes required to digest them.
These sweeteners usually work by triggering the same sensory cells in our taste buds that send signals to our brain when something sweet is tasted. Did you know that artificial sweeteners are sometimes over two hundred to twenty thousand times sweeter than sugar? As a result, manufacturers can use so little in their formulation that they add almost no calories whereas the same amount of sweetness from sugar would have more calories.
Artificial Sweeteners List
Certain artificial sweeteners are FDA-approved. Some of them include :
• Acesulfame potassium (Ace-K)
• Luo Han Guo fruit extracts
• High-purity steviol glycosides ( Stevia rebaudiana )
The Side Effects of Artificial Sweeteners You Should Know About
1 Research about the potential side effects of artificial sweeteners are mixed, but if you’re healthy, usage might be okay.
According to studies, non-nutritive sweeteners are associated with health outcomes like body weight, cancer, diabetes and oral health. However, a recent study was carried out in which health outcomes were looked into to confirm their possible association with non-nutritive sweetener use in a population that is generally healthy.
At the end of the review, no evidence showed that non-nutritive sweeteners had any effect in adults on eating behaviour, cardiovascular disease, cancer, mood, kidney disease, cognition or behaviour. According to the study, there was a little bit of benefit in promoting weight loss and improving fasting blood glucose levels, but only in small studies and over short periods of time. Potential harms from the consumption of non-nutritive sweeteners could not be excluded.”
2 Artificial sweeteners can impact your brain.
According to some studies, consuming artificial sweeteners can disrupt hippocampal function as the sweeteners tend to cross the blood-brain barrier. With the hippocampal function disrupted, sensitivity to interceptive signals becomes impaired, along with dysregulate appetite behaviour. This in turn promotes food intake.
3 Artificial sweeteners can retrain your taste buds.
Firstly, this isn’t exactly good news because these artificial sweeteners have so much sweetness intensity compared to natural sugars. What then happens is that your taste buds get so used to having really sweet stuff.
When your taste buds are accustomed to extra sweet things, you no longer know how to enjoy naturally sweet foods like fruits or healthy food that might be slightly bitter like vegetables or whole grains.
4 Artificial sweeteners may impact your gut health.
According to a few studies, artificial sweeteners have an effect on the normal gut microbiota. This effect could ultimately lead to metabolic syndrome and obesity, according to Salas-Whalen.
5 Artificial Sweeteners effects on the gut microbia may lead to diabetes
With artificial sweeteners altering your gut microbia, its effect is associated with impaired glucose tolerance. Impaired glucose tolerance spikes blood sugar, increasing the risk of diabetes.
6. Artificial sweeteners simply love chilling in your gut.
According to a 2014 study, it was found that using artificial sweeteners regularly such as aspartame, saccharine and Sucralose, resulted in an abnormal mix of bacteria in the gut. This in turn increased the risk of insulin insensitivity and weight gain.
One of the ways this could occur is that the artificial sweetener may stay in your gut instead of getting absorbed. The unhealthy bacteria in the gut eventually feasts on the sweetener, thriving and growing while the healthy bacteria get killed off gradually.
7. Artificial sweeteners may be linked to a host of gastrointestinal issues.
One study carried out on mice found a similar effect on Acesulfame potassium, but only in men.
An example of a gastrointestinal problem that may be associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), is very common and not only results in pain and abdominal bloating , but also decreases our ability to get the most nutrients from our food, decrease the health of our immune system and increase our risk of a host of chronic inflammatory disorders.
8. Beware that some artificial sweeteners have calories.
As we mentioned at the beginning, artificial sweeteners can be nutritive or non-nutritive, even though most artificial sweeteners are often non-nutritive. Non-nutritive artificial sweeteners are synthetic sugar substitutes that do not have carbohydrates and calories. They may be gotten from naturally occurring herbs and are often much more sweeter than sugar.
The nutritive category only includes aspartame. They have calories, though not as much as in sugar.
9. Artificial sweeteners can usher in overeating.
Have you ever noticed how you tend to eat more or crave more food after your meal is completed when you eat a meal with diet soda by the side?
This is often thanks to artificial sweeteners.
Instead of its supposed help in reducing our consumption of calories, it does the exact opposite. It still triggers the sensors responsible for the sweet taste, this increases insulin levels in same way as if you eat sugar.
As a result of this, we may begin to eat a lot more and eventually take in more calories than we would have if we had simply skipped the artificial sweetener. Plus, our risk of packing on pounds around our midsection is increased, thus increasing our risk of heart attacked and heart disease.