The trend these days is towards getting healthier. But, some of the choices that are being suggested to us are anything but healthy. Here, we will discuss artificial sweeteners and why they are not as good as they seem for the body.
What Are Artificial Sweeteners?
Artificial sweeteners are chemical compounds that are used instead of sugar in diet foods, soft drinks, candy, cakes, crackers and cookies. They are fat free and still taste sweet. Some are even three or four times sweeter than sugar.
What is not always known about artificial sweeteners is that they are created in the lab using chemical processes. Some use highly toxic substances that could be left behind in the final product. Because of these processes, there are side effects from long-term use of chemical sweeteners. For instance, with NutraSweet (aspartame), some possible side effects include headaches, seizures, chest pains, hallucinations and even tumors. The tumors have been shown to occur in laboratory animals.
Another artificial sweetener you might want to avoid is Splenda (sucralose). It is supposed to be made from sugar. Splenda has the potential to enlarge the kidneys, cause dizziness, rashes, night sweats, weight gain and nausea.
Consuming all of these artificial sweeteners in drinks, snacks and adding them to food dishes can result in more harm to your body. Eliminate as many of them as you can from your diet.
How They Trick the Body
Here is another surprising fact about artificial sweeteners. The body gets a taste of sweetness on the tongue when you eat or drink something that contains an artificial sweetener. It expects a burst of sugar but gets a non-sugar substitute. The body doesn't register it as sugar so it continues to crave the sweetness.
This cycle can result in eating more foods that contain these sugar substitutes in an effort to quench the sweet craving. What happens is you take in more calories and see weight gain if this gets out of control. So, eating sugar-free snacks doesn't always mean calorie free. You could be doing more harm than good to your body.
Back to Sugar
What about sugar? It has been getting a bad rap over the years. Yes, sugar is sweet and contains calories, but in moderation it is okay. In fact, many of the artificial sweeteners are sweeter tasting than sugar. By using sugar, you are adapting to a milder sweetness that you will be able to taste in foods without needing to add more.
Stick with unsweetened foods so that you can measure the amount of sugar you are adding, if you need to add any. Natural is usually better for the body because it is used to processing it.
Are you using artificial sweeteners? They are not all they are cracked up to be. Read about some of the side effects and how you can still have sweetness but in a more natural way.