Artificial sweeteners seem like attractive alternatives to sugar because they’re intensely sweet and add no calories to your diet. Such sweeteners are widely used in processed foods such as soft drinks, candy, jellies, dairy products, puddings, and pretty much anything labeled “sugar-free.” The most popular fake sweeteners on the market today are Equal and NutraSweet (aspartame); Splenda (sucralose); Sweet One, ACK, and Sunett (acesulfame); and Sweet ’N Low (saccharin).
I notice a lot of people drinking diet sodas and adding fake sweeteners to their coffee, tea, and even food, just to save a few calories. But is that really a good idea? Consuming chemically altered, man-made products which are not found in nature DOES have it’s consequences. Fake sweeteners in general seem to have one thing in common – they all negatively affect our health, even in small concentrations.
Here’s a few reasons why we should take a pass on fake sweeteners:
- Increased fat storage and the risk of obesity
- Increased risk of metabolic syndrome
- Induces glucose intolerance and affects A1c levels, contributing to type 2 diabetes
- Linked to hypertension
- Alters our gut bacteria (which has been observed to increase rates of irritable bowel, inflammatory bowel, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease), and detrimental for those who already suffer these conditions
Artificial sweeteners made in a laboratory contain no nutrition and should be avoided. Stevia is the only packaged sweetener I’m comfortable recommending for beverages. To date, there are no known health issues when stevia is used sparingly. Other alternatives include date paste or date syrup, which are made using only whole dates, or natural sugars used sparingly as shown in my previous post.
To learn more, check out Dr. Greger’s videos:
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (GW)