No more sugarcoating the truth! The #1 way to live a healthy lifestyle is not exercise... it's not cardio, strength training, cutting out carbs, or drinking fit tea. Nope, the #1 way is by educating yourself! Because when you know better, you DO better.
So here are 5 facts about Artificial Sweeteners to help you DO BETTER.
1. "Artificial Sweeteners have been approved by the FDA" - TRUE
In 2012, the FDA approved 5 artificial sweeteners in an attempt to lower diabetes and obesity in children and adults (Fitch & Keim, 2012). Today, you can find over 6,000 products that contain artificial sweeteners in your local grocery store.
2. "Artificial Sweeteners are healthier than regular sugar" - FALSE
Neither natural or artificial sugar can be consumed in abundance without nasty side effects. However, long term effects of artificial sweetener include impaired cognitive function, kidney damage, memory loss, type 2 diabetes, mood disorders, and more. (Lindseth et al. 2014)
3. "Artificial Sweeteners have less calories than regular sugar" - TRUE
Most artificial sweeteners have WAY less calories than natural sugar - almost 98% less calories to be exact. "However, despite the common belief that using Artificial Sweeteners as a substitute for sugar will help control body weight, a cohort study of over 1,400 participants linked increases in body mass index and waist circumference to consumption of artificial sweeteners (Chia et al. 2016) Many participants in this study tended to overcompensate by eating more food. In fact, the group which was aware of the added artificial sugar had the highest increase in caloric intake." - Delicious Danger, Fitness Journal, October 2019, pg: 46
4. "Artificial Sweeteners help in curbing appetite" - FALSE
Studies have shown that artificial sugars activate production of GLP-1 and GIP. Maybe you are wondering why that is important? Let me tell you... these are the hormones responsible for insulin production and stimulating hunger! (Egan & Margolskee 2008)
5. "Artificial Sweeteners encourage weight loss" - MAYBE
Well, this one is kind of a trick question. Since artificial sweeteners have less calories than regular sugar, they do help decrease the amount of calories consumed. The artificial sugar itself is not responsible for weight loss though, because we know that weight loss is a result of burning more calories than you consume. Considering the other effects of artificial sweeteners (increase hunger, over eating) you could likely gain weight, stimulate production of fat cells, and even develop type 2 diabetes. (Lindseth et al. 2014)
So where are these artificial sweeteners found and how can you avoid them?
Great questions! Well, for starters, put down the diet coke! Just kidding... but really.
Next, check out this list of artificial sweeteners and their "label names". You might recognize a few of them! If you realize artificial sweeteners are more common in your diet than you expected - that's OK! Because now that you know better, you can do better! Start by making one change at a time and find an alternative that you enjoy!
If you need any help, just click here!