We’ve all got that one friend. The one who when you go out for coffee reaches for sweeteners to add to their mug. Or maybe it’s a friend who is alway jonesing for another diet soda. Well this is the post you need to slyly share to their social media so they get the hint. If you are realizing you’re that friend, then keep reading because you need to cut it out.
Why Not the Real Deal?
This is a question I’ve asked many who choose to skip sugar and replace it with an artificial sweetener. Why not just use sugar? I’ve determined it comes down to 3 things.
- Because they think it’s better for them
Well, those three things are shit. Here’s why:
Okay, it’s true that artificial sweeteners are calorie free. But food has calories, that’s how it works. If you’re consuming something that doesn’t have calories it isn’t food, and I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t be eating things that aren’t food. What you are eating is a concoction of chemicals that are deteriorating your health, shortening your lifespan, and making you fat. More on that later.
This is probably the hardest point to argue because people like what they like. However, science says otherwise. Artificial sweeteners literally dull the sweet senses so that sweet foods taste less sweet. So you DID like naturally sweet things but now you fucked it up eating fake sweeteners. Way to go.
Because it’s “better” for you
No. No it’s not. The food companies are just very clever in how they market their products. They use eye-catching buzz words such as “diet”, “sugar free”, “zero calorie”, “no sugar added”, and more to make the consumer think it’s a healthier choice. Why? Because they are selling you something for the purpose of making money. Billions are spent each year on marketing junk food. Still don’t believe me because you’d rather take their word for it than research the truth? Well this is awkward because all that truth is right below this and you can’t say you had no idea anymore.
Sweet Sweeteners Death
That might sound a little dramatic to say that sweeteners are killing you, and it would be if it weren’t the truth. Let’s start with saccharin, popular brand name is Sweet ‘N Low. Research found saccharin caused cancer in lab rats. Sucralose, or Splenda, is another sweetener that caused leukemia and blood cancers in rats. Yeah, cancer is bad, and what you consume can really have an effect on your cancer risk.
But that’s not all. In one study women who drank aspartame sweetened diet drinks were 30% more likely to experience a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular event. That same figure of 30% comes up again. Frequent drinkers of artificially sweetened soda are 30% more likely to be depressed. Research has also found that artificial sweeteners can raise your risk for type 2 diabetes. People with diabetes have double the risk of death than those without the disease.
Sugar Isn’t the Devil
Despite what you might have heard, sugar isn’t all that bad. Sure, you don’t want to go overboard, but it’s a much better option than the fake stuff. Sugar better rewards the brain better than artificial sweetener, so although your taste buds like the fake sweets, your brain is left wanting more. This can lead to a false sense of hunger, and cause overeating. Even though sweeteners are calorie free, they aren’t keeping your weight down. Artificial sweeteners trigger an insulin response from your body that puts it into fat storage mode. It’s actually making you keep more fat! Your body knows how to process sugar, it doesn’t know what to do with sugary tasting chemicals.
Artificial sweeteners continue to affect the body in ways that sugar doesn’t. A study found sucralose negatively impacted gut health and could lead to inflammatory bowel disease and obesity. Aspartame can illicit an allergic response from the body, causing swelling, headaches, and hives. It has also been known to hurt memory retention in mice. In a long term study, human men were found to have a greater cancer risk when consuming aspartame.
Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow
It can be hard to break bad habits, such as finally kicking artificial sweeteners to the curb. But don’t worry, I will make this as easy as possible on you. Below I’ve separated the bad from the good so you can replace your toxic sweetener with a better option.
Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, AminoSweet)
Cyclamate (Banned in the United States)
Monk Fruit Extract (Needs more testing)
Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low)
Enjoy in Moderation:
Stevia Leaf Extract (Rebiana, Truvia, PureVia)
Additional reference: http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm