Weight Loss and artificial Sweeteners

Artificial Sweeteners and Gut Health

Artificial sweeteners have become very popular the last few decades. We are all familiar with those colorful little pink, blue, and yellow packets at restaurants. Sucralose, saccharin, aspartame are some of the more popular artificial sweeteners used in the United States.

With a majority of my practice being dedicated to GI issue and hormonal imbalances, I have some concerns about these fake sweeteners. Now I see some of you reaching for that mouse to click the close window button… WAIT! I know some of you out there love your “low calorie” sweetener packets, but hear me out.

There is enough information out there to warrant a closer look at these man-made chemicals when it comes to your health, and as far as I’m concerned, especially gut health and hormonal problems.

A scientific study done in the U.S. as recently as 2008 on 18,000 people that consumed one or more artificially sweetened “diet” drinks per day increased their risk of acquiring metabolic disorders by 30 to 40 percent! These chemicals tend to slow down the body’s metabolism and as a result, put you at risk for weight gain, never a good thing.

That’s right, these “diet,” low calorie sweeteners can indirectly contribute to weight gain based on their effects on your metabolism. Even WebMD, a more “traditional” health media site, published an article titled, “Could Artificial Sweeteners Cause Weight Gain?

Now, don’t get me wrong. Not everyone that consumes these chemicals on a regular basis will automatically be fat. Some may be thin as a rail as each person’s body is different. But there are numerous other negative effects like exhaustion, depression, anxiety, muscle spasms, headaches, etc. that users have reported.

Artificial sweeteners are everywhere and can be difficult to avoid if you are so inclined as I am. Just because you don’t physically add it to your food or drink doesn’t mean it has not already been added. There are approximately 6,000 different beverages, snacks, and other food products that contain these chemicals. I hope you are a “label reader” as I am.

Even seemingly “healthy” or “natural” products can contain these, what I consider to be “frankenstein” ingredients.  I just had this happen to me the other day. A person gave me a sample of a health supplement to try out. Of course, I read the ingredient label and it looked great. Then I looked further down and saw “Other Ingredients” and saw that it contained sucralose. Sorry, that’s a no brainer for me. No can do.

If you’d like to do more research, I’d suggest you start with the book “Sweet Deception: Why Splenda, NutraSweet, and the FDA May Be Hazardous to Your Health” by Dr. Joseph Mercola. Maybe you’ll come to the same conclusion that I did that when it comes to ARTIFICIAL sweeteners…they really aren’t so sweet when it comes to your health.