Researchers from the University of Manitoba in Canada have found that artificial sweeteners are not worth the risks. In fact, they may be linked to a risk of weight gain and a greater risk of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
Obesity is a public health challenge that affects more than one-third of the adults in the United States, and the numbers for young children and teens are seriously rising.
The American Heart Association reports that currently, one in three U.S. adults is obese, and it’s wreaking havoc with our health by raising the risks of high blood pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Strokes.
They further report that another third of Americans are overweight. …In fact, according to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), the average American adult weighs over 26 pounds more than they did in the 1950’s.
As a result, research showing that sugar consumption may fuel the obesity epidemic has increased the popularity of artificial sweeteners.
Some of the most common ones include:
• Acesulfame Potassium – (Sunnett, Sweet One)
Found in: Soft drinks, gelatins, chewing gum, frozen desserts
• Aspartame – (Nutrasweet, Equal)
Found in: Drinks, gum, yogurt, cough drops
Found in: Some drinks, dairy products, frozen desserts, puddings, fruit juices
• Saccharin – (Sweet ‘N Low, Sweet Twin, Sugar Twin)
Found in: Drinks, canned goods, candy
• Sucralose – (Splenda)
Found in: Fruit drinks, canned fruit, syrups
• Stevia/Rebaudioside – (A Sweet Leaf, Sun Crystals, Steviva, Truvia, PureVia)
Found in: Diet drinks, yogurts, individual packets
Sugar alcohols (Sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol)
Found in: Sugar-free candies, gum, desserts
As of last month, some 45% of adults and 25% of children in the U.S. are using artificial sweeteners daily, and those numbers are on the rise.
And, there is new evidence indicating that artificial sweeteners are not worth the risks and in fact, they may have a negative effect on metabolism, gut bacteria, and appetite.
➡ The studies suggest that chronic exposure to artificial sweeteners may result in increased food consumption, weight gain, and obesity.
➡ A 2013 study showed that both sugar-sweetened beverages and artificially sweetened beverages were linked with an increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
➡ One study of 3,682 individuals examined the long-term relationship between consuming artificially sweetened drinks and weight. The participants were followed for 7-8 years and their weights were monitored.
- After adjusting for common factors that contribute to weight gains such as diet, change in the amount of exercise or diabetes status, the study showed that those who drank artificially sweetened drinks had a 47% higher increase in Body Mass Index (BMI) than those who did not.
One reason artificial sweeteners are of such concern is that they affect the body’s ability to gauge how many calories are being consumed.
Some studies also indicate that artificial sweeteners are not worth the risks because they affect the brain in different ways.
➡ The human brain responds to sweetness with signals to eat more.
By providing a sweet taste without any calories, however, artificial sweeteners cause us to crave more sweet foods and drinks, which can add up to excess calories.
In published research documents, Dr. Ryan Zarychanski and Dr. Meghan Azad (assistant professors at the University of Manitoba in Canada) and colleagues, aimed to determine whether regular artificial sweetener consumption is associated with harmful long-term effects on weight and heart disease.
Their research was published in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
The team conducted a systematic review:
➡ It included 37 studies
➡ Followed more than 400,000 individuals for around 10 years.
Seven of the studies were randomized controlled trials, which are considered the “gold standard” in clinical research.
➡ The randomized controlled trials followed 1,003 people for around 6 months.
The trials with a short follow-up period indicated that intake of artificial sweeteners is NOT consistently linked to a DECREASE in body weight, body mass index (BMI), or waist circumference.
In the longer observational studies, however, findings pointed toward a significant association between consumption of artificial sweeteners and INCREASES in measures of body weight, BMI, and waist circumference.
So…as it turns out, artificial sweeteners are not worth the risks of the complications that follow.
With so many conflicting arguments regarding the usefulness, safety and long-term effects of using artificial sweeteners, it’s best to err on the side of caution.
Nature provides us with multiple fruits and vegetables to satisfy our sweet tooth while providing all the necessary nutrients to maintain healthy bodies.
Each diabetic and heart disease patient must consider these findings for themselves with a clear conscience.
You know MY answer…Artificial Sweeteners Are Not Worth The Risks!