Are artificial sweeteners as bad for you as you think ? There are so many different ideas running around about artificial sweeteners share many recipes, diet products, and meal ideas that contain or include artificial sweeteners. After assessing the scientific evidence, monitoring my own personal experience, and combining these findings with other anecdotal sources, I use them sparingly and that's totally my decision to enhance my enjoyment when eating some meals.
There are a number of things I considered before implementing sweeteners into meals, and I want to go through those one by one. But first, let’s clear up what classifies something as an artificial sweetener, because let’s be honest it can get confusing and I was for a LONG TIME !
Natural Sugars, Sugar Alcohols, and Artificial sweeteners.. What's the difference?
Natural sugars are complete sugars with four calories per gram. I don’t recommend them to be included in any diet. However, food marketing has done a remarkable job at making things like “organic cane sugar” seem like a healthier alternative, when realistically it has the same negative effect in the body as other sugars.
Sugar alcohols, on the other hand, have fewer calories than natural sugars, varying from one to three calories per gram depending on the type. Certain types are also less likely to influence blood sugar in the same way as true sugar, as they are not completely absorbed and metabolized by the body.
Finally, artificial sweeteners, while possibly still having an influence on blood sugar and insulin levels, have no caloric value in and of themselves.
When it comes to the effect of artificial sweeteners on physique, many claims are based upon correlation and not causation which often causes confusion. Reports that the usages of artificial sweeteners leads to increased weight gain and greater rates of type 2 diabetes are likely not based on a causal relationship, as a zero-calorie product is innately unable to lead to direct weight gain.However, the likelihood of increased preference for the sweet taste of artificial sweeteners and continued preference for “sweet” foods, may lead to weight gain in individuals who fulfill these cravings with calorie-laden items.
When it comes to physique, I have built a national-level physique while keeping artificial sweeteners in my diet all the way to stage and while reaching extremely lean body-fat levels. In the past, I prepared for shows without sweeteners, cutting them out to ensure no negative effects. But at my most recent shows, I left them in all the way through show day with no obvious differences in physique.
In terms of function, both mental and physical, I notice no difference whether I am consuming sweeteners or not. I have assessed my mood, energy level, strength, and focus throughout weeks with no sweeteners at all. I can say honestly can’t tell the difference. I only add in sweeteners to things like yogurt or cottage cheese to make it more enjoyable but not as an everyday occurrence.
By doing your own research and assessing your own experiences with these products, you will be able to make the best decision to suit your body and lifestyle. I enjoy a sweet treat every once in a while and if I am not seeing any noticeable differences, then using them occasionally is ok !