Zero calorie sweetners are the jewel of the weight loss industry. Foods, drinks, snacks, wherever you’re getting that fix for your sweet tooth, they’re there to take away the guilt. But don’t be fooled, you may be able to trick the body, but you won’t sneak it passed the brain. It’s not your weight loss solution, it’s the hidden weight loss problem!
Q: What Are Artificial Sweetners?
Let’s replace that term with, non-nutrative sweetners, this category captures all the artificial and natural sweetners. Essentially they are artificial and natural chemicals that provide us the sensory sweetnes, on our tongue, and have little to no caloric value. Simply, they solve for one of the “issues” with sugar, calories.
Q: Why were they created?
Mainly for diabetics. Diabetics have issues with breaking down sugar and their response, through a hormone called insulin, of removal of sugar from the blood stream. You eat sugar, it gets into the bloodstream, if it sits there too long, it starts eating away at all the blood vessels and now you got huge problems. So these sweetners, which have no sugar, do not cause the breakdown of these tissues.
Q: What makes them different?
First, some are artificial, like Sucralose, Ace-K, Saccharine, and then others come from natural sources like Stevia and Xylitol. The natural ones have a small bit of calories, but not much. Next, is the intensity or power of their sweetness. Compared to table sugar, Sucralose is 600x sweeter, Stevia up to 300x, Xylitol 1x, and Saccharine up to 500x. As you can see, you don’t need a lot, but they pack a sweetness punch.
Q: Why are they all “dangers”?
Because even though you don’t get the calories, you do get an insulin bump. Once the brain senses sweetness, it thinks there is sugar, so insulin automatically rises, which is not a healthy thing. Some people feel it’s ok to keep eating or drinking sweet things all day, so their insulin is elevated, which is inflammatory. Next, you’re really getting used to sweet things, which then causes you to eat more sweet foods and build a higher tolerance for sweetness.
Q: What’s your advice?
If you want to lose weight or curb your sweet tooth. Stop using any of these sweetners, they are not good long term solutions. “Knock The Sweet Out Of Your Mouth” is what I say. The less you get used to sweet things, the better. Next, as long as you don’t overdo it, consume regular sugar. The issue isn’t sugar, it’s the pace and amount you consume it.