Could Artificial Sugars Be Healthier Than Table Sugar?

How many Diet Cokes do you drink in a day? How many sugar free yogurts do you eat during the week? These products infer that they are a healthier option because they do not have any sugar in them. If they don’t have sugar, what is taking the place of sugar as the “sweetener”? Insert the term, artificial sugars.

What are artificial sugars or. sweeteners?

Mayo Clinic explains:

Artificial sweeteners are synthetic sugar substitutes, but may be derived from naturally occurring substances, including herbs or sugar itself. Artificial sweeteners are also known as intense sweeteners because they are many times sweeter than regular sugar.

Why use artificial sweeteners?

It’s a valid question especially since most people try to avoid anything artificial in their food. There are several reasons so many people “relax” their standards towards artificial sweeteners.

1.  Most people can agree that there is no healthy amount of table sugar you should consume because it is so high on the glycemic scale.

2.  Table sugar is so high on the glycemic scale 65 (What Is The Glycemic Scale AND Why Should I Care?)

3.  At the same time, people want to consume something that is sweet but without sugar.

What are examples of artificial sugars?

The artificial sugar market is dominated by 3 sweeteners.

1.  Saccharin (a.k.a. Sweet’N Low - drinks, candies, cookies, and medicines

2.  Sucralose (a.k.a. Sppplenda) - AriZona Net No-Carb Green Teas

3.  Aspartame (a.k.a. NutraSweet, Equal) - Diet Coke

Do artificial sweeteners effect your blood sugar the same as sugar?

Mayo Clinic explains:

Recent research, done with mice and humans, suggests that artifical sweeteners could raise your blood sugar levels more than if you indulged in sugar-sweetened sodas and desserts.

They found that saccharin (a.k.a. Sweet‘N Low), sucralose (a.k.a. Splenda) and aspartame (a.k.a. NutraSweet and Equal) raised blood sugar levels by dramatically changing the makeup of the gut microorganisms, mainly bacteria, that are in the intestines

Segal and Elinav added saccharin, sucralose, or aspartame to the drinking water of mice and found that their blood sugar levels were higher than those of mice who drank sugar water -- no matter whether the animals were on a normal diet or a high-fat diet.

The mice given artificially sweetened water “were almost diabetic,” said Martin Obin, PhD,. He said he calculated that the mice fed artificial sweeteners took in a daily amount equivalent to what humans get in about four cans of diet soda.

Although saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame are three different compounds, “the effects were quite similar to each other,” Segal said. Those three sweeteners make up the bulk of the market.

What does this mean?

Mice that were given artificial sugars, had high fasting blood sugar levels despite not consuming traditional sugar. The mice had such high blood sugar levels, they were almost diabetic.

What are you to do?

Eliminate all artificial sugars from your diet. Most of us realize that sugar is NOT healthy and should rarely be consumed. Artificial sugars are NOT the answer. Not only are these products unnatural, they are altering your gut bacteria and elevating your blood sugar more than if you consumed natural table sugar.

For information on 1-on-1 Personal Training or Nutrition Coaching, feel feel free to contact me at szahn@lifetimefitness.com.

 

Steven Zahn

ACE Certified Personal Trainer

NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Pre and Post Partum Certified

Dragondoor Publications: HKC Russian Kettlebell Certified

Szahn@lifetimefitness.com