You want to stay healthy and you’ve decided to keep away from all those nasty products and foods that you used to eat or drink before, replacing them with all sorts of substitutes. I’m talking about artificial sweeteners, butter substitutes, etc.
This is understandable, but… Did you know that some food alternatives are linked to a variety of health problems and weight gain issues?
If your health is of concern to you, here’s what you need to know about artificial sweeteners.
Types of artificial Sweeteners
Sucrose (or zacharine) is advertised as one of the main sugar subtitutes available for purchase at your local stores. It is also used in the composition of various food and beverage products. Zacharine isn’t the only artificial sweetener, there are way products out there. Among them, neotame, aspartame, sucralose, are the most common types of sweeteners you read on labels.
Just think of a regular soda. Most commercial sodas have in their composition a range of artificial sweeteners and you can read the labels to convince yourself. Even so, soda products are in demand (even diet soda) and people drink them unknowingly.
All these artificial sweeteners are chemicals (sugar alcohols) used to flavor various products, from low sugar cookies, gums, chocolates, bars, to mints, various jams.
Why are artificial sweeteners dangerous?
One of the major health concerns, when using artificial sweeteners, is the metabolic syndrome. This syndrome has specific symptoms, ranging from excessive fat stored in the belly area, resistance to insulin, abnormal blood pressure levels. It is a rising syndrome, covering a wide range of people, but there are some elements in common for them all: the use of dangerous artificial sweeteners, high blood sugar and high blood pressure, high cholesterol.
Another issue with these sweeteners is sugar addiction. Using these artificial sweeteners in your daily nutrition, in coffee, even drinking a diet soda, can create a state of “sweet” addiction. People crave for that sweet taste and flavor, that sweet tooth state or that need of energy.
In your body, after ingesting products with artificial sweeteners in them, the pancreas is fooled into releasing a larger volume of insulin throughout the body. This process leads to weight gain, but also insulin resistance.
Gaining weight abnormally from using these substitutes can increase the risk of pancreatic, breast, colon cancer.
Sugar alcohols can also have a laxative propriety, if used frequently and excessively. And you know what a laxative does. Imagine going to the toilet over 15 times during a day and not knowing why.
If the label of a certain product lists elements that end in “-itol”, such as sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol, maltitol, that product contains a specific type of sweetener.
There are also bowel, intestinal and pancreatic problems to acknowledge. The pancreas is fooled into secreting more insulin, and the intestines and bowel don’t process the fake sugars properly, leading even to symptoms of embarrassing diarrhea.
Other related health issues are frequent headaches, bloating, skin problems.
What can you do about it?
Getting addicted by any type of sugar, be it artificial or natural isn’t easily encountered. It takes will and perseverence to overcome such a problem, but it can be done.
You can start by reducing the amount of artificial sweetener ingested daily. Use artificial sugars in only one coffee, not more. Also cut down on sugar products, cookies, stop chewing sugarless gum. Cut down on these products in a timely manner so as your body recovers from that sugar rush.
Meanwhile, you can also replace some of those products with natural alternatives. It is always better to get some natural sugar from natural sources as veggies and fruits. There are also some specific plants that can serve as sugar replacement, such as stevia, a plant that contains even 30% more sugar and is calorie free.
Reducing and replacing should be enough for you, but if your body still craves for the “old artificial flavor” you can reset it with other natural sweeteners such as honey. Drink your tea or your cold drink with a bit of honey.
Stop considering the artificial sweeteners as healthy substitutes or valid sources of energy for your daily activities and nutritive enjoyment.
Stay healthy and energetic.