Artificial sweeteners are better for you than sugar: myth or reality

There are several myths about artificial sweeteners and one says that they are better for you than regular sugar. Is that true? Let’s see

What are artificial sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners also known as sugar substitutes are chemicals added to some foods and beverages to make them taste sweet. Some of them contain calories but the amount of calories is very small. 

Artificial sweeteners might not be better for you than sugar. // Photo by Labuenavibre

When we want to lose weight, one of the first things we do is cutting sugar and replacing it with artificial sweeteners. But some studies suggest that they might not be better for you than sugar. This study, presented at the 2018 Experimental Biology, stated that artificial sweeteners might actually cause some health conditions. Consuming high amounts of dietary sugar has been linked to diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and other systemic health problems. As a consequence, instead of preventing obesity, it can cause it. 

So, what happens with soft drinks?

One of the characteristics of soft drinks is the high amount of sugar they have. So, many companies develop a diet version of them with artificial sweeteners and when people want to lose weight they tend to choose this option. Chances are this can sound disappointing but here is what science explains about this.

Consuming fake sugar actually trains your insulin response to store more fat, not less.

Consuming fake sugar actually trains your insulin response to store more fat, not less. How is that possible? Well, when you consume real sugar, your body automatically sends an alert to your pancreas and they start producing insulin. Insulin plays an important role in our body: it helps break down the sugars that can provide immediate energy or go into fat cells for storage. So, even though you are not consuming sugar, your body knows that there is something sweet so it may end up producing that same insulin response which ends up in more fat storage without satisfying yourself with sugar.

Moreover, artificial sweeteners do not satisfy your brain as sugar does, so you do not state the craving. This can make you end up eating more calories overall.

Peter O Brien

Peter started out his professional life as a restaurant critic but ended up moving to the kitchen, realizing that his passion didn’t only lie in tasting the food, but MAKING it. Follow his delicious recipes, as well as useful articles about the many benefits healthy and delicious food will bring to your life.+ info

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