Artificial Sweeteners Linked To Poor Health

Sweeter than sugar, zero calories, and packaged in pretty pastel wrapping paper, it’s no wonder artificial sweeteners, such as Equal, Splenda, and Sweet ‘N Low, are popular sugar replacements.

So, why do so many healthcare professionals cringe when they hear of their patients consuming artificial sweeteners?

Research has linked the consumption of artificial sweeteners to a growing list of health concerns and symptoms, including:

    • Overeating / weight gain
    • Hyperactivity / insomnia
    • Lightheadedness / brain fog / fatigue
    • Glucose intolerance / diabetes
  • Poor gut health / diarrhea / abdominal pain / gas / bloating

Exactly how artificial sweeteners might contribute to these various health conditions isn’t entirely clear, but recent studies suggest that these sugar substitutes alter the make-up and function of our gut bacteria as well as the activity of our neurotransmitters.

Whether or not to consume artificial sweeteners is your choice, but we choose to avoid them as much as possible because we’re not convinced they’re safe, they taste bad (to us), and we like real food.  

Staying away from artificial sweeteners involves more than forgoing the yellow, blue and pink sweetener packets.  You have to check ingredient labels for the following FDA-approved artificial sweeteners in the United States:

  • Acesulfame potassium (also called acesulfame K or Ace-K)
  • Aspartame (Equal)
  • Saccharin (Sweet n’ Low)
  • Sucralose (Splenda)
  • Neotame
  • Advantam

These ingredients hide in a variety of “sugar-free”, “diet” and “light” foods and beverages, including soft drinks, yogurts, cereals, puddings, baked goods, candies, granola bars, and more.

For example, Dannon’s Light & Fit Strawberry Yogurt, a popular choice among calorie-counters, includes both sucralose and acesulfame potassium.

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