Artificial sweeteners are very common in many foods and drinks available on the market. For example, you may have seen them in the ingredients list of your diet soda or sugar-free candy.
Many people think that artificial sweeteners are acceptable to put into their bodies. However, there is doubt on how safe they are and if they could potentially cause harm to your body, especially long-term.
So, let’s look at the top 10 dangers of artificial sweeteners and why you shouldn’t take them.
What Are Artificial Sweeteners?
Artificial sweeteners are sugar substitutes made of synthetic components. They are commonly found in diet beverages, sugar-free candy, and drinks.
Although they are labeled as ‘sugar-free,’ these products could cause harm to your body in the long run.
Top 10 Dangers Of Artificial Sweeteners
Following are the reasons why you shouldn’t take any food or drinks containing artificial sweeteners. You’re causing harm to your body, so they are better to be avoided.
- Mood Disorders
Studies show a link between artificial sweeteners and mood disorders such as depression.
Stop using artificial sweeteners if you suffer from mood disorders like anxiety or depression. Instead, drink more water and get adequate rest. You will feel a difference in your mood and behavior.
Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame are a “multi-potent carcinogenic compound’. Therefore, consuming artificial sweeteners increases your risk of cancer. They also increase the size of tumors.
Many food products, including sugar-free candy, diet soda, gum, and coffee creamer, contain this dangerous carcinogenic compound. Avoid eating or drinking these at all costs.
3. Weight Gain
Artificial sweeteners interfere with the balance of glucose and insulin in your body, lowering your metabolism. It causes your brain to think you’re hungry, which leads to overeating and weight gain.
These sweetening compounds alter your gut microbe, leading to weight gain.
4. Cardiovascular Disease
Artificial sweeteners cause obesity which can be a burden to your cardiovascular system. It could cause various cardiovascular-related complications and conditions, including heart attack and hypertension.
5. Risk Of Diabetes
It’s true that some time ago, doctors recommended the use of artificial sweeteners in place of sugar. However, recent studies show that artificial sweeteners alter insulin sensitivity and cause more harm to your body.
6. Migraines And Headaches
Prolonged consumption of artificial sweeteners can cause headaches and migraines. If you already suffer from migraines, artificial sweeteners could aggravate this condition.
7. Risk During Pregnancy
Pregnant mothers should avoid artificial sweeteners entirely because these could lead to a high risk of metabolic syndrome disorders and obesity.
Artificial sweeteners also increase babies’ risk of preterm birth and weight gain.
8. Risk Of Dementia And Stroke
Using artificial sweeteners increases the risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and general memory loss.
9. Gastrointestinal Issues
Prolonged consumption of artificial sweeteners such as sucralose can alter your gut’s microbiome. As a result, it could lead to gut irritability which causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s disease.
10. Liver Damage
High consumption of artificial sweeteners leads to various liver complications, including fibrosis, lipid accumulation in the liver, and liver degeneration.
The liver is where detoxification occurs in the body. Replace beverages that have artificial sweeteners with water, king coconut water, tea, etc.
Use Of Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are a sugar substitute in food products and beverages labeled ‘sugar-free.’
Products that contain artificial sweeteners include the following.
- Soft drinks, especially diet beverages
- Canned foods
- Baked goods
- Jellies and jams
- Dairy products
How Do Artificial Sweeteners Work
Artificial sweeteners work as sugar substitutes. This is because they trigger the same sensory cells in our taste buds that send signals to our brain whenever we eat something that contains sugar.
These sweeteners are 200 and 20,000 times sweeter than sugar, so manufacturers can use a minimal amount to make foods taste sweet. Artificial sweeteners are significantly less in calories compared to sugar.
Types Of Artificial Sweeteners
Following are the different artificial sweeteners to look out for in products and avoid buying.
- Acesulfame Potassium
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Steviol glycosides
Healthy Alternatives To Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are harmful to your body, so you must altogether avoid consuming them. However, if you still crave the sugar taste and are looking for healthier options, here are a few you can consider.
Maple syrup: Maple syrup contains antioxidants, calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium. Consume in moderation due to the high-calorie count.
Date paste: Date paste is a natural sweetener. Dates are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, providing more nutritional value than table sugar.
Honey: Honey is a natural sweetener that contains more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than sugar. However, consume honey in moderation as it is high in calories.
Coconut sugar: Coconut sugar is unrefined, has vitamins and minerals and does not cause fluctuations in blood sugar. However, moderation is vital as it could add up on calories.
Agave nectar: Agave nectar is nutritious, flavorful, sweeter than sugar, and has a longer shelf life.
There are also other healthy and convenient alternatives that you can opt for, which don’t contain harmful artificial sweeteners.
Consult your doctor before switching to any alternative sugar substitute, especially if you have diabetes or heart disease or are at risk of developing these conditions.
Artificial sweeteners pose so much risk to your health that you must get rid of them completely. Avoid buying products that contain these harmful ingredients.
Always check the label of food products you plan to buy. Ensure that they don’t contain any of the harmful artificial sweeteners in the ingredients list.
There are many healthy alternatives you can opt for instead of putting your health at risk.
Which Is Worse: Sugar Or Artificial Sweeteners?
Artificial sweeteners are worse as they could make you feel hungry and eat more throughout the day, ultimately leading to diabetes.
Can Artificial Sweeteners Cause Kidney Issues?
Prolonged use of artificial sweeteners can affect the kidney and cause kidney issues.