Risk Associated with Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners have always remained the talk of the town. The energy drink you have before the workout, the chocolates you have to satisfy your sweet craving, or the sweetener that you might have seen people using to sweeten up tea, a variety of food and beverages have a presence of little or more Artificial Sweetener in it. In Fact, the F&B products labeled as “diet” or “sugar-free” that are mostly processed or refined have a presence of artificial sweeteners.
Before diving into the article to know more, let’s discuss what artificial sweeteners actually are. Let’s have a look below!
What Are Artificial Sweeteners?
As the name suggests, artificial sweeteners are the chemicals added to food and beverages as a substitute for table sugar for giving a sweet taste to it. As per Healthline, although such sweeteners are added as a sugar substitute, but they are in reality, a thousand times sweeter than table sugar. They are just empty calories without any benefits to offer for your health because they are prepared in labs and mostly found in processed foods.
Some people consider artificial sweeteners as a blessing because they want to cut back on calories and this is certainly the best option for them, considering their “no-calories” property. On the contrary, other people consider it unsafe by claiming that it put health at risk. There has been a continuous heating debate over this for years.
As you are here, chances are that you are also confused like many others. So, to clear your confusion, I did a little research and find out the potential negative impacts associated with consuming food that has the presence of such sweeteners.
Sure, artificial sweeteners are a good option when you want to keep calories to a minimum, but if your regular diet is high in food and beverages with artificial sweeteners in it, here are some points that you should definitely consider.
It Leads To Weight Gain
One of the main reason why people go for artificial sweeteners is that it contains no calories. Hence, they replace healthy natural food with empty calories. But in reality, it increases your appetite and you tend to gain weight rather than lose. Know why?
Artificial sweeteners do not contain any fiber so they might satiate the sweet cravings but will make you overeat unlike naturally sweet food like fruits and vegetables that not only taste sweet but also help you to manage weight by keeping you full for longer periods due to the presence of dietary fiber in them.
It Changes The Way We Taste Food
As per a research by the National Library of Medicine, artificial sweeteners are 180 times sweeter to as much as 13,000 times sweeter than sugar. Therefore, if you eat a lot of processed food infused with such sweeteners, you tend to develop a certain taste. As a result, you find the taste of naturally sweet food and beverages a little off and unpleasing to the taste buds. Foods that are slightly bitter like whole grains or vegetables will be least enjoyed
You might as well stop accepting the flavours in natural food. It definitely can put harm to taste buds in the long run.
Here are some tips that can be followed to put an end to this risky addiction:
- Gradually reduce the amount of natural sweeteners. If you cut off immediately, the temptation increases so reduce one by one
- Keep a watch on your sugar intake
- Add fiber-enriched food to your diet so that you stay full and decrease the unnecessary cravings
- Carefully read labels before adding any product to the cart
- Avoid buying processed food especially carbonated sodas
- Eat more naturally sweet F&B products like fruits, dry fruits, natural juices, sweet potatoes, and sweet spices like cinnamon, and cardamom
It May Cause Digestive Issues
By now, you already know that artificial sweeteners are man-made and not natural which implies that we might have difficulties in digestion because our body is not made to handle such man-made chemicals according to Nutrition Insight.
Considering this, it is a better choice to invest in anything natural rather than developing the possibilities of health risk by including artificial sweeteners as a part of a daily diet.
It Increases Addiction
Their sharp sweet taste can also make it hard to give up easily. Once your tongue gets used to this intense sweet taste, it will be hard for you to quit the foods that fail to impress your taste buds with the same level of sweetness. As a result, it will affect your brain and you will end up craving sugar which leads to overweight thus unwanted weight gain.
It is a lot better to depend on naturally sweet food for sweet indulgence rather than loading up the diet with the harmful addiction of artificial sweeteners.
There is also very less data available that prove any positive effects associated with giving artificial sweeteners for kids too. So, parents are also advised to carefully read the labels while buying any store-bought product and reach out to food and beverages with natural sugar that are naturally sweetened.
What Are The Benefits Of Natural Sweeteners?
When it comes to natural sweeteners, they are a lot healthier because of their naturally occurring nature. Natural sugar is found in whole fruits and vegetables or natural juices.
For e.g. – Sugar in donuts or sugar in fruits? You must know fruits are a thousand times healthier than candy. We need not tell you more about the numerous benefits of eating fruits.
This is the reason why our nutritionists all over the world and our mothers too, have been telling us to eat natural sugar substitutes like honey, jaggery, fruits, naturally sweet & fresh juices, etc. to satisfy our sweet tooth without compromising on health.
Natural sweeteners are not only safe but you will also get the benefit linked with consuming that particular food or beverage. All you need is to make small changes by replacing refined or artificial sweeteners with natural ones, and you’re good to go.
For example: Replace sugar with honey in tea and carbonated sodas with natural juices. These small lifestyle changes have a big impact to keep us healthy in the long run.
Consuming too much sugar is bad for health. We can’t ignore the fact that excessive consumption of sugar can lead to tooth decay, weight gain, type-2 diabetes, and even can risk of heart-related issues. For this reason, moderation is key so we all should aim to be eating less sugar.
While choosing a sugar substitute, if you may have been tempted to reach out for artificial sweeteners, think twice and consider the positive impact of natural sugar-containing foods that are highly nutritious and also satiate the sweet cravings without causing any health conditions.
Always evaluate personally, choose wisely, and always look out for natural alternatives!
Disclaimer: The above mentioned results are based on different study and researches. We recommend you to talk with a trusted healthcare professional if you have any health issue.
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