Do you reach for artificially-sweetened beverages when you’re trying to cut down on calories? If so, you’re not alone – millions of people do the same.
But with this happening, many medical professionals and online fitness gurus portray artificial sweeteners as bad and even borderline toxic for the body.
So, should you give up diet drinks altogether? And is there a better way to satisfy your sweet tooth?
Read on to find out.
Types Of Artificial Sweeteners
There are many types of artificial sweeteners, all of which are way, way sweeter than sugar.
They are used in a variety of products, such as diet sodas, low-calorie foods, and sugar-free candy.
The most common types of artificial sweeteners are:
Let’s have a look at each one and briefly explain, shall we?
Stevia is a natural sweetener that has been used for a long time.
It is made from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant and is up to 400 times sweeter than sugar.
Because it is calorie-free, stevia has become popular as a weight-loss aid as well as a healthy alternative to sugar.
There have been claims that stevia may help with weight loss by reducing cravings and calorie intake.
Sucralose is a calorie-free, artificial sweetener that was discovered in 1976 and approved by the FDA in 1998.
It’s made from sugar, but it is processed in a way that makes it so that the body can't metabolize it, and thus, the caloric value is zero.
This artificial sweetener is about 600 times sweeter than sugar, so it is used in very small quantities to provide a sweet taste.
Sucralose is one of the most popular artificial sweeteners on the market today.
It is widely used in a variety of food products, including soft drinks, baked goods, and candy bars.
Because it has no calories and tastes just as sweet as sugar, sucralose is a very appealing alternative to calorie-laden sugar.
Despite its popularity, there are some concerns about the safety of sucralose.
Some people claim that it can cause digestive problems, such as bloating, gas, and cramping, meaning that its side effects may be strictly individual, as there is no concrete human evidence proving adverse side effects.
Aspartame is a synthetic organic compound that was first discovered in 1965.
When metabolized, it is broken down into three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol.
Shortly after the worldwide introduction of aspartame, doubts came around, stating that aspartame is responsible for the increased rate of brain tumors.
With this, people started doubting artificial sweeteners, and they have been commonly demonized ever since.
However, the study that was published regarding this correlation turned out to be based on just loose coincidence.
So… Are Artificial Sweeteners Bad?
The bottom line is that there is no concrete evidence of adverse side effects of consuming artificial sweeteners.
While there are some studies that suggest a link between artificial sweeteners and health problems such as weight gain and diabetes, these studies are inconclusive.
In fact, many experts believe that artificial sweeteners are safe and effective tools for weight loss and diabetes management.
Why? Because they allow you to satisfy sweet cravings without actually consuming calories.
Granted, there is a lot of debate surrounding the use of artificial sweeteners, and many people are skeptical about their safety.
But most of all, we should remember the main rule of thumb – Most things, in moderation, are not bad for you!
So, if you’re looking to cut down on sugar intake but don’t want to give up your sweet tooth entirely, artificial sweeteners might be the perfect solution for you.
As with any food or drink choice, it’s important to do your own research and find the option that best suits your individual needs and preferences – but we think that artificial sweeteners have got a bad rap undeservedly, and they could be a valuable tool in your weight-loss arsenal.
Have you ever tried using artificial sweeteners as part of your diet plan? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments!