Beware of Artificial Sweeteners

 

You may think that using artificial sweeteners, such as NutraSweet (aspartame) and Splenda (sucralose) is healthier than eating sugar, but emerging evidence suggests these chemicals may be worse for you in terms of metabolism, gut bacteria, and appetite, says Dr. Chauncey Crandall.

For instance, studies found that people who drink artificially sweetened diet soda gained weight and suffered a greater risk of metabolic syndrome, which can be a precursor to diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

But only seven of the studies were randomized controlled trials (the gold standard in clinical research). Those involved 1,003 people followed for six months on average.

The trials did not show a constant effect on weight loss, but the longer ones found that use of artificial sweeteners led to higher risks of weight gain and obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and other health issues.

Millions of people use artificial sweeteners every day, under the impression that they are reducing their health risks. The possibility that they may actually be increasing their risks is worrisome.

Instead of sweeteners, eat sweet foods that don’t require sugar or artificial sweeteners, like berries and whole fresh fruits, or even dried fruits — but only in modest amounts, as these foods do metabolize as sugar.

If you want to sweeten foods like oatmeal or Greek yogurt, use a tiny bit of maple syrup or honey instead.

-Medix Health

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