Artificial Sweeteners: My Pet Peeve

Artificial Sweeteners: My Pet Peeve

Whenever I see those blue, yellow and pink sugar substitutes on tables all across America, I think to myself…toxins. They are a sort of pet peeve of mine.

I am in no way a fan of eating sugar in any regularity. Let’s explore why these imitation sugars have problems all their own.

The Word Artificial Should Raise A Red Flag

Fake sugars like aspartame, saccharin, sorbitol, Sucralose, xylitol, and erythritol are dubbed nonnutritive because they are bankrupt of any nutrition. You commonly know them as Equal, NutraSweet, Sweet’N Low, Splenda, and TwinSweet. Or perhaps even the “natural” sugar known as stevia. All of these are nutrient deficient. All sugar alcohols are highly refined. These sugar substitutes are artificial and the word artificial should be enough of a red flag for you to realize that you should not consume them. 

They are packaged as a low-fat or zero fat alternatives to sugar. Food manufacturers hide them in the low calorie or zero calorie processed food. The slick marketing of these fake sugars plays off the mindless constant banter that all calories are bad. These smooth marketers have the population at-large brainwashed and afraid of calories. The truth is that not all calories are bad. 

I recently viewed a tweet on Twitter that made this point. It read something like, eat 2000 calories a day in Skittles and alcohol for three months versus 2000 calories a day of meat, eggs, or fish. Let’s see how you feel in the end.

Good healthy calories are found in nutrient-dense foods. Food like avocado, coconut milk, butter, nuts, seeds, raw cheese, and oily fish. These calories burn clean, they are nutrient-dense and they are beneficial for your brain and heart.

Sugar Formed As Alcohols

Sugar alcohols are hydrogenated sugars and highly refined. Synthetic sugars including sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, and erythritol. These sugars are fermentable. They are incompletely absorbed in the body, feeding the bad guys of gut bacteria, weakening your microbiome. This can leave you vulnerable to infection and serious inflammation. 

These bad guys increase in numbers diminishing the good bacteria needed for boosting your immune system. The most common symptoms that occur ingesting sugar alcohols are gut issues including watery bowel movements, bloat, gas, diarrhea, and rumbly tummies (which is uncomfortable gas moving through the intestines). 

Tearing Up The Intestinal Wall

The lining inside of your intestinal wall should be tight. In one study sugar alcohols like xylitol and mannitol were shown to open the tight junctions in the intestinal wall. This leads to intestinal permeability known as leaky gut. Erythritol has a similar effect causing inflammation. 

Once the gut is leaky, unwanted proteins pass through the lining of the intestine landing in places they were never meant to be. This causes inflammation in the body. All inflammation left unchecked will eventually turn to disease. 

Weight Gain And Diet Soda Drinkers

The typical diet soda drinker is overweight. Studies reveal that frequent consumption of diet soda or artificial sweeteners is associated with greater body mass index (BMI), obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Studies show that nonnutritive sweeteners alter appetite and glucose metabolism. In other words, frequent consumption of high-intensity fake sweeteners will mess with your metabolism to slow it down. 

People who regularly consume artificial sweeteners show altered activation patterns in the brain in response to the taste of sweet. The theory here is that these products don’t satisfy your desire for sweets causing you to crave even more sugar. “Studies in mice and rats have shown that consumption of noncaloric sweeteners dampens their physiological responses to sweet taste and causes the animals to overindulge in calorie-rich, sweet-tasting food and so pack on extra pounds.” Susan Scutti 

Does this sound familiar?

An article found in PubMed stated, “Although the FDA and most published (especially industry-funded) studies endorse the safety of these additives, there is a lack of conclusive evidence-based research to discourage or to encourage their use on a regular basis.”

So, instead of replacing nutrient bankrupt sugar with nutrient bankrupt zero-calorie sweeteners, why not just bite-the-bullet and quit every type of sugar altogether? The bottom line is to address your sweet tooth. This is what will ultimately enhance your health! 

References: 

Healthy Living: Jul 10, 2013, 01:18 PM  By Susan Scutti

Healthline: September 19, 2018, By Joe Leech

PubMed: Artificial sweeteners as a sugar substitute: Are they really safe? 2016 May-Jun, Indian J Pharmacol, Narayana Institute of Medical Sciences, Puducherry, India.

Diet Detective: September 19, 2018, Department of Pharmacology, Sri Lakshmi

The Healthy Home Economist: Mar 25, 2019, Sarah Pope MGA

Science Direct: Non-nutritive sweeteners: Review and update, PadminiShankarPh.D., R.D.aSumanAhujaPh.D.bKrishnanSriramM.B.B.S., F.R.C.S(C), F.A.C.S

Dr. Axe:11 Best Sugar Substitutes, May 9, 2019, Dr. Josh Axe DC, DMN, CNS

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