Artificial sweeteners seem great don’t they? Well they offer the sweetness of sugar but not the calories that come with it. A great benefit without any side effects seems to be great deal does it not? You guessed right, the answer is no. Let’s break it down. Not the sugar, the issue at hand.
All the major health and goodness departments in the world have said yes to the use of artificial sweeteners to replace sugar but only in a limited capacity. This was to enable the decline of the amount of people getting heart disease and diabetes. Just like everything that offers great things, artificial sweeteners also have a flip side. The side effects of artificial sweeteners are fatal and can cause a lot more problems. Maybe not as harmful as diabetes but the sheer number of side effects is alarming.
There are five artificial sweeteners that are allowed to be used as per all the major food departments in the world. They are saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose. Saccharin is as close it comes to regular sugar and is hence a good substitute but still has a lot of side effects that cannot be overlooked. Aspartame used to be the hero of the artificial sweetener family as it was sweet, around 200 times more sweet that sugar and had almost zero calories. This was all brought crashing down as a research suggested that the Aspartame can act as a poison for people who are born with genetic phenylkitunoria. The most common one however is sucralose which is around a 1000 times sweeter than sugar and offers minimal side effects.
The question is what these side effects are. Firstly as these artificial sweeteners are exponentially sweeter than sugar, they reduce the tolerance of the brain to under simple tastes. This means that the continuous use of these products could eventually lead to increased consumption of sweet foods and grains, as there is no carbohydrates in the body. This can result is increased weight and all the side effects that follow. This means that artificial sweeteners make you consume artificial non nutritious foods while avoiding natural foods al together.
Another major but related side effect is that, the regular consumption of these artificial sweeteners not only increases the craving of sweet food stuffs, but also make the body’s tolerance to sweetness increase. This means that a person who is a regular user of these artificial sweeteners finds normally sweet stuff such as nuts and fruits non-appealing to the palate and other food stuffs such as grains and vegetables, downright inedible.
There is another thing. As easy as quitting these substances may seem, it’s not so. Scientific research shows that artificial sweeteners or any form of sugar is addictive. A study showed that rats which were exposed to cocaine and saccharine (sugar) always chose the sugar over cocaine when given a choice. The problems and side effects of artificial sweeteners run deeper than it may seem.
So the bottom line is that maybe these foods are good but maybe sugar is not so bad itself as it can help maintain a natural lifestyle. The right way is to maybe find a balance between the two.
Source: Wikipedia.com, medicinenet.com, naturalnews.com