Do Artificial Sweeteners CAUSE Flab?
Do Artificial Sweeteners CAUSE Flab? (You know, the chemical-sweeteners found in diet soft drinks and thousands of other "healthy foods.")
Artificial sweeteners like Splenda (sucralose), NutraSweet (aspartame), Sunette (acesulfame K), and Sweet ‘N Low (saccharin) may have serious health consequences and may be causing you to GAIN weight, not lose it.
One University of Texas-San Antonio study linked increased consumption of artificially sweetened diet soda with obesity. (Most diet sodas contain aspartame; a few contain sucralose or other sweeteners.)
"On average, for each diet soft drink our participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years and 41 percent more likely to become obese," said Sharon Fowler, MPH, faculty associate in the division of clinical epidemiology.
Also, in a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers fed one group of rats a liquid sweetened with real sugar, and then fed another group of rats a liquid mixed with artificial sweeteners. When they offered both groups food, the rats in the artificial sweetener group ate more.
Why? The scientists believe that artificial sweeteners may "short-circuit" the body's natural ability to sense how much it has eaten. They foil the efforts of our body's internal calorie counter, so we eat more without realizing it.
It could also be that eating and drinking "diet foods" with artificial sweeteners makes us feel entitled to overeat at other times of the day.
Possible weight gain aside, these sweeteners may be harmful. The Center For Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has aspartame, saccharin, and acesulfame K labeled "Avoid" in their guide to food additives, due to results of research that show a possible risk from these sweeteners.
Aspartame (NutraSweet) in particular has been linked to tumors in several Italian studies. Splenda (sucralose), which originally was marketed as being "made from sugar," actually contains chlorine atoms. Chlorine is used to kill microorganisms in water in swimming pools, and to a much lesser extent, in public water supplies.
And in a recent Duke University study, rats who were fed food containing sucralose for 12 weeks had much less gut flora than normal rats. This means that the sucralose "killed off" the good bacteria that normally live in the intestines. These good bacteria, as we'll discuss later on, have a big impact on your overall health and belly bulge. So you don't want to kill them.
Why take chances with your weight and your health? I recommend the new zero- or low-calorie sweeteners like truvia™, Z-Sweet®, and Sun Crystals™ that are made with natural sources, such as erythritol and stevia.
These natural sweeteners can be used instead of sugar packets in your hot beverages, on oatmeal, and even in baked goods to some extent.
Erythritol is an all-natural, zero-calorie sweetener that is fermented from sugars and found naturally in many fruits and vegetables. It has no calories, no glycemic impact, and is only slightly sweeter than real sugar. It is recognized as safe by the FDA.
Other sugar alcohols (such as xylitol or maltitol) frequently are blamed for digestive side effects when people overdo sugar-free treats. However, erythritol is absorbed before it reaches the large intestine, so it does not normally cause these digestive effects.
In the U.S., the granular form is marketed under the name Z-Sweet® and found in other natural sweeteners including Sun Crystals™ (which is a mixture of erythritol and raw cane sugar so it's not zero-calorie) and truvia™ (which contains a mixture of erythritol and stevia).
Stevia rebaudiana is a leaf that first gained popularity in South America as a no-calorie, natural sweetener with a sweetness that is 30-45 times greater than that of table sugar. It's been used all over the world for years as a safe, natural no-calorie sweetener.
After a long debate (which many people believe was due to the chemical sweetener industry trying to block it), it's been approved for use in the United States. You can find stevia under the names PureVia™, SweetLeaf™, and mixed with erythritol in truvia™.
And while many folks love replacing pancreas-pummeling sugar with Stevia,some people are disappointed by a distinct bitter aftertaste that can last for hours when used too often.
The SNEAKY reason for Stevia's "Bitterness"?
The stevia plant has two parts to it: rebaudioside and stevioside.
While both parts can produce a bitter aftertaste for some folks, rebaudioside contains the least, and is barely detectable.
Stevioside, by itself, can produce a much more bitter taste. (I have been using Stevia for so long I don't even notice a bitter taste, but many people do.)
It's hard work just extracting the good stuff from the stevia plant.
So to save money, many big brand companies simply use the entire plant, and that's mainly why some folks are disappointed with the aftertaste.
Well, a few months ago I heard about a small company that was producing their own version of Stevia, but ONLY using the non-bitter stuff.
That's why I have added "Slimtevia" to our healthy sugar-alternative arsenal. If you would like to read more about Slimtevia just click right here: http://slimtevia.com/index-hboc.html - and no I don't get a kickback, I just want to keep all my clients informed about other choices available.