Artificial Sweetener Side Effects
Artificial sweeteners are one of the most studied foods that people today consume, yet, despite this fact; they are also one of the most misunderstood. Depending on the study that you look at, one could come to the conclusion that these sweeteners are either extremely good or terrible for you. As with most things in life, the truth likely lays somewhere in the middle.
While artificial sweeteners can be a good alternative to regular sugar in some situations, they should not be consumed all the time. The human body is not designed to be regularly eating sweet foods, whether they are made sweet with sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Therefore, for those who are always looking to grab a can of diet soda or eat a low-calorie snack, consider the following side effects that you may experience. You’ll soon find that foods made with artificial sweeteners might be ok once in a while, but they certainly shouldn’t be enjoyed every day.
Artificial Sweeteners Cause Weight Gain
Many people who consume artificial sweeteners do so because they want to lose weight, or avoid weight gain. According to the San Antonio Heart Study, however, those who drank diet beverages full of artificial sweeteners in them gained significantly more weight than those who didn’t. Another important study found that young people who consumed drinks with artificial sweeteners tend to have higher overall body mass.
The thing to note about these studies is they are comparing people who drank diet soda to those who didn’t drink the soda at all. This distinction helps to show that sweet drinks are bad for you, regardless of how they are sweetened. Drinking a can of soda, whether it be diet or regular, should only be done on rare occasions and not a daily occurrence.
Artificial Sweeteners Can Cause Type 2 Diabetes
Most people know that sugar is linked to type 2 diabetes, which is one big reason why many people switch to artificial sweeteners. They will be disappointed to hear that artificial sweeteners can also cause this troubling condition. A study from Europe, for example, found that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes has gone up by more than double for those who consumed the most diet drinks compared to those who didn’t drink them.
Another study that looked at people who drank either diet or regular sweetened drinks found that in a majority of cases, the risk of type 2 diabetes was quite similar; this means that there is likely no benefit to moving to artificially sweetened drinks when it comes to diabetes, and compared to unsweetened options, these types of drinks are extremely harmful to your health.
Artificial Sweeteners Can Cause Heart Problems
Heart issues are the leading cause of death today, so finding a way to have a healthier heart and overall cardiovascular system is imperative. Reports show that the overall risk for coronary heart disease in women who drink two or more artificially sweetened beverages per day is significantly elevated. Another study showed similar results for those who drink beverages sweetened with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.
Once again, it seems that all sweeteners can cause heart and overall cardiovascular issues when consumed regularly. It is best to cut these types of things out completely, but if that is not an option at the moment, reducing them as much as possible will help to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.
Artificial Sweeteners Are Linked to Metabolic Syndrome
A metabolic syndrome is a group of different conditions that are all linked together such as stroke, heart disease, and more. Studies have found that when compared with people who don’t drink sweetened beverages, those who drink diet versions are at more than double the risk of experiencing metabolic syndrome.
Artificial Sweeteners Are Linked to Migraines
According to reports from the FDA, there are a significant number of people who say that artificial sweeteners cause them to experience migraines. While not everyone who consumes even high amounts of artificial sweeteners will experience this particular side effect, it is a potential issue that may be faced. Migraines can be quite debilitating, and some people have trouble linking their migraines to artificial sweeteners, which can cause them to suffer through them for much longer than would be necessary.
Artificial Sweeteners Are Connected to Many Other Issues
While additional large-scale studies are needed to confirm specific side effects are directly related to artificial sweeteners, the evidence is indeed building up. According to the FDA, there are about 10,000 known reports of side effects from aspartame, which is one of the most popular artificial sweeteners. Reports found people complaining of changes in vision, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, abdominal or joint pain, changes in heart rhythm, depression, mood change, memory loss, seizure, and even brain cancer.
Even if not all of these end up being directly linked to artificial sweeteners, it seems almost certain that at least some of them will. There is little doubt that sweeteners of any type, especially artificial sweeteners, are going to cause some unwanted side effects. Moving to a more natural diet with less sugar or artificial sweeteners is a good idea for everyone and something that should be a big priority for those wanting to improve their overall health.