Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Evil Artificial Sweeteners

I want to hate artificial sweeteners. I really, really do. I want to rail against them. They worry me because they're man-made, which never seems to be a good thing where food is concerned.

The problem is, I can't. At least, not at the moment. I can't find a single piece of scientific evidence that shows any link between artificial sweeteners and disease.

Now, that's not to say that there isn't a population that has adverse reactions to artificial sweeteners. There are plenty of people with sensitivity to Splenda, aspartame, and such, but these people do not represent the general population. And the general population who consumes artificial sweeteners appears to be, at least as far as we currently know, not at risk of disease due to AS consumption.

That having been said, there is some research (for example: http://www.nature.com/oby/journal/v16/n8/abs/oby2008284a.html ) that shows a link to artificial sweetener consumption and obesity, as odd as it sounds. This could be because artificial sweeteners seem to still make people crave sweets. It could also be because eating non-sugar foods makes people rationalize eating more. Whatever the reason, there appears to be the possibility of a link between artificial sweeteners and obesity. More research needs to be done on this subject.

So, for the time being, it appears you're fairly safe with moderate consumption of artificial sweeteners. If you continue to eat sensibly (nuts, sprouted grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and lots and lots of veggies) and steer clear of diet sodas (which have been linked to metabolic disease and diabetes: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/32/4/688.abstract , plus can strip minerals from your bones) , you should be fine. If, however, you have any adverse effects from your sweet additions, learn to live without them.

Questions? Comments? Thoughts? Let me know!

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