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Artificial sweeteners and their negative health effects

Artificial sweeteners and their negative health effects

By now we should be aware that we should minimize (and preferably eliminate) sugar consumption, because it is practically an addictive poison that increases its harmful effects on our body according to the amount and time we consume it.

No one knows this better than diabetic people and those who decide to go on a diet, because the first carbohydrate that their nutritionist or doctor asks them to eliminate is sugar. And with good reason, since it is the main cause of fat accumulation in the body, and consequently of inflammation and Metabolic Syndrome.

Non-sugar sweeteners are not much better than sugar or at least there is no evidence of this. It is the main conclusion of a review of what science knows about these substances. The report, commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO), has found no significant evidence that these non-caloric (or low-calorie) compounds have beneficial health effects beyond slight weight loss. The authors of the study and other experts remind that unsweetened foods and water are the best substitutes for sugar.

So one of the first measures suggested is to eliminate or minimize consumption of the first source of added sugars that people consume: sweetened beverages, such as sodas and juices.

However, because sweets are addictive, many people choose not to give up the sweet taste, but rather the calories that normally come with sugar, replacing this carbohydrate with artificial or low-calorie sweeteners.

The demonization of sugar has gone hand in hand with the deification of non-sugar sweeteners. The former's sucrose has been linked to obesity, tooth decay, type 2 diabetes and heart rhythm disturbances, among other diseases. For this reason, health authorities recommend reducing their intake, especially among the youngest and specific risk groups. The withdrawal of sugar has given way to a long dozen sweeteners, both artificial and natural, such as saccharin, which a few decades ago was a medicine for diabetics, aspartame, acesulfame K or stevia (extracted from the plant Stevia rebaudiana ). All of these substances are between 100 times and 20,000 times sweeter than sucrose. Most have zero or very few calories.

Artificial sweeteners may be associated with long-term weight gain and increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, according to a new study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

The consumption of artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose and stevia, is widespread and growing. Emerging data indicate that artificial or non-nutritive sweeteners may have negative effects on

  • The metabolism.
  • Intestinal bacteria.
  • The appetite.
  • Humor changes.

Now the problem will be knowing how to sweeten our lives since sugar and refined products cause diabetes and obesity; Fructose, although natural, is still a form of sugar and has all the contraindications of sugar; Aspartame is a highly carcinogenic chemical element and also enhances pain and fibromyalgia; Stevia, which was postulated as the most natural sweetening remedy, is loaded with contraindications.

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