The Low Down on Artificial Sweeteners

Find out more about what they are and what they do to your body in this episode about the low down on artificial sweeteners with Julie Polanco.Do you use artificial sweeteners in your morning coffee? How about diet soda or in baking? Find out more about what they are and what they do to your body in this episode about the low down on artificial sweeteners with Julie Polanco.

This episode sponsored by the Ditch the Sugar challenge, a free challenge starting February 1 to help you conquer sugar cravings once and for all.

Sign up for the Challenge!

What are Artificial Sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners are sweeteners that are manmade and not found in nature. They usually go by names such as aspartame, sucralose, maltodextrin, xylitol, and saccharin. Others that occur in nature but are super processed or, when added to foods, are manmade include erythritol, dextrose, maltose, fructose, glucose syrup, and high fructose corn syrup. We’re going to focus on the purely artificial ones, though. People often use artificial sweeteners because they are trying to curb their use of sugar. This may be because of diabetes, a desire to lose weight, or other reasons. Besides using it as an alternative to sugar in drinks and baked goods, people also choose prepared foods containing artificial sweeteners.

Occasional use of artificial sweeteners often poses no issues. However, research shows conflicted results for long-term use. In addition, people who use artificial sweeteners exclusively and frequently over longer time periods often experience negative side effects. Let’s dig in!

The Low Down on Artificial Sweeteners

First of all, artificial sweeteners can affect your body in a number of ways. Here are some possible negative side effects of using them.

Your Sense of Taste May Be Dulled

Have you noticed that your taste buds have changed, or the intensity of flavors have dulled over time? This might be the result of an over consumption of artificial sweeteners. This is because many of these sweeteners are many times sweeter than naturally occurring sweeteners.

You become accustomed to the sweeter taste of artificial, processed sweeteners, and over time, start losing the desire for naturally occurring sugars. But the good news is that if you start reducing how much artificial sweetener is in your diet, and begin consuming natural sources of sweeteners, your normal tastes can return.

It Can Boost Craving Intensity

One of the most dangerous effects caused by sweeteners is that they stimulate pleasure centers in your brain. Under normal circumstances, these pleasure centers eventually reach a point where they become satiated and you stop eating or drinking.  But in the case of artificial sweeteners, you may never feel satisfied. Instead, you feel intense cravings that cause you to overindulge in foods and drinks, and that is contrary to what you’ve been trying to achieve the entire time.

Gut Problems May Be in the Future

Some studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can also have negative effects on your gut health. For example, even though sweeteners are considered safe, you might develop a glucose intolerance form the sweeteners. They can also add to digestive distress like stomach cramps, nausea, and other issues with your digestive system. If you notice that you have a stomachache when you drink a Diet Coke, it might be from the sweeteners used, as opposed to the other ingredients.

To find out additional effects from artificial sweeteners, including neurological ones, listen to the podcast!

Warnings

Never give sugar-free, artificially sweetened beverages or foods to children! Even though these sweeteners are considered safe by the FDA, the reported side effects and conflicting research should give us pause. And, keep these foods away from pets.

Sign up HERE for the free Ditch the Sugar Challenge, starting February 1.

 

 

 

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