7 Reasons why you should throw away all your pink, yellow and blue packets:
1) They mess up your metabolism. If you clicked the post I referenced above about why I hate calories, you might understand why it’s dangerous to take this on as a positive trait for artificial sweeteners. While artificial sweeteners are “calorie free,” these phony substances actually confuse your metabolism which in turn leads to weight gain—exactly the opposite effect you’re going for when forgoing the calories you get from real sugar.
2) They may exacerbate diabetes, not prevent it. According to this study, artificial sweeteners can actually raise your blood sugar. (One good reason why it’s ludicrous that artificial sweeteners are still recommended for those with diabetes.)
3) They’re dangerous. Artificial sweetener consumption is continually associated with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome (a term used to refer to a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes—not good). When the uber conservative American Diabetes Association is publishing this research, we should be extra concerned.
4) They backfire. A huge reason why hopeful dieters became best buddies with this white stuff was because of its (empty) promise to fulfill their fantasy of all the sweet without any of the calories, allowing them to have their cake and eat it too (so to speak) while the pounds melt away.… Of course, now we know that it’s not just a matter of calories in and calories out. Our bodies are so much smarter than that, and weight loss is multifactorial, taking into account hormonal balance and blood sugar stabilization, sleep and stress. Instead of depriving ourselves of calories and nutrition, we need to stay fueled to shed pounds.
5) They fuel our sugar addiction. We are learning more and more about the addictive nature of sugar. Several studies have shown that sugar dependence is similar to drug addiction, so artificial sweeteners used as a replacement for sugar might make us eat more sugar anyway. Some studies suggest these sweeteners increase our appetite and desire for sweetness since they can trigger the same reward center in the brain that sugar does.…except your body never actually gets the sugar, so it’s never satisfied.
6) They’re GROSS. Splenda contains chlorine. Three chlorine molecules to be exact. I can hardly stand swimming in a pool with chlorine for very long because that smell makes me gag, not to mention how it makes my eyes burn. I certainly don’t want to be ingesting it directly into my body on purpose. Let’s remember that keyword “artificial” here…! It also grosses me out that they’re found in all sorts of things you wouldn’t suspect, from protein bars to chewing gum, cough drops and even vitamins. Gross. (Non-artificially sweetened vitamins available here.)
7) They wreak havoc on your gut. The evidence on the importance of gut health is overwhelming. If there’s one thing I love to talk about the most, it’s probably gut health. We know how important gut heath is for immunity, metabolism, weight loss, digestion, etc. (Read Heal the Gut No Matter What and Digging Deeper into Gut Health if you’re not familiar). Artificial sweeteners negatively impact our gut health by killing the good bacteria. Virtually all of us should be working on healing our guts, so the last thing we want to do is consume something that’s further impairing our gut health!
In summary, artificial sweeteners don’t even deliver on any of their intended promises. They contribute to weight gain, even if they’re calorie free. They raise our blood sugars instead of lowering them. They worsen our gut health. They can contribute to making us eat more sugar. What’s the point? Why play tricks on your body when they end up backfiring?