The sweet stuff in the little coloured packages may be causing your health some harm. Nutrition experts warn that there is an increased chance of developing type-2 diabetes when you use artificial sweeteners on a regular basis.
In a recent issue of Nature, a published study showed a connection between artificial sweeteners and a higher risk of diabetes. Even those who consume what is considered to be an “average” amount of saccharin, aspartame, saccharin and sucralose (average meaning a little in your coffee and perhaps a few diet sodas throughout the day).
The reason for this is the suspected alteration of the gut bacteria that you should be trying to keep balanced. An imbalance in gut bacteria can lead to glucose intolerance, and ultimately this can cause you to develop type 2 diabetes.
With artificial sweeteners appearing in more and more foods, and helping to make our obesity problem worse than ever, there is now a push to increase awareness and help people eat less of these chemicals.
Researchers are careful to explain that the current study was conducted on mice, and that there may not be a direct carryover for results. David Katz, Director of the Yale University Prevention Research Centre, states, "This research is compelling, but it's far from definitive for humans, as it was done mainly in mice.” He urges caution when interpreting the results until further studies can be completed.
You might be wondering if this should change your morning rituals and change your fake sugar habits. If you really want to be careful about increasing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, then you should consider eliminating artificial sweeteners from your diet. Also, eating fewer calories and avoiding sugar and junk food can help.
Add less sweeteners to your foods, and stick to the natural stuff whenever possible. As you consume less sugar, you will crave less. After a few weeks, you will find that you eat less and less sugar.
One of the major problems with artificial sweeteners is that when you consume more of it, you will crave sweeter foods. The artificial ingredients can lead to the development of sugar cravings, despite the fact that most people think that they are saving themselves from eating too much sugar. Often the opposite effect ends up being true.
Because it is being suggested that artificial sweeteners are affecting the gut bacteria and the microbiome, avoiding having them in your diet is a smart move.
For those who are still addicted to their morning hit of artificial sweetener, it’s never too late to make a change. Taking out artificial sweeteners and adding in some probiotics may help to rebalance your gut bacteria and get your glucose intolerance back into balance, too.