Do Artificial Sweeteners Impact Weight Loss?
There are several types of artificial sweeteners available, and each one affects the body differently. Here's a list of some common artificial sweeteners and how they impact the body:
Aspartame: Aspartame is a low-calorie sweetener that is commonly used in diet soda, gum, and other sugar-free products. It is broken down into three components: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. Aspartic acid and phenylalanine are amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, and methanol is a type of alcohol. Aspartame does not affect blood sugar levels and is safe for people with diabetes. However, some people are sensitive to aspartame and may experience headaches, dizziness, or other symptoms after consuming it.
Saccharin: Saccharin is a zero-calorie sweetener that is often used in diet drinks, baked goods, and other products. It is not broken down by the body and is excreted unchanged in the urine. Saccharin has been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer in animal studies, but there is no conclusive evidence that it causes cancer in humans, however the risks may not be worth using when there are better options available.
Sucralose: Sucralose is a zero-calorie sweetener that is made from sugar. It is commonly used in diet drinks, baked goods, and other products. Sucralose is not broken down by the body and is excreted unchanged in the urine. It does not affect blood sugar levels and is safe for people with diabetes.
Stevia: Stevia is a zero-calorie sweetener that is derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. This is the sweetener I use in my own diet, as it is not linked to cancer and is a natural plant based product. It is often used in natural and organic products as a healthier alternative to artificial sweeteners. Stevia does not affect blood sugar levels and like Sucralose and the next suggestion is safe for people with diabetes.
Neotame: Neotame is a zero-calorie sweetener that is chemically similar to aspartame. It is used in a variety of products, including soft drinks, chewing gum, and baked goods. Neotame does not affect blood sugar levels and is safe for people with diabetes.
Artificial sweeteners are often used as a substitute for sugar to reduce calorie intake and aid weight loss. However, some research suggests that they may actually lead to weight gain by increasing cravings for sweet foods and altering gut bacteria. Overall, the evidence on the effects of artificial sweeteners on weight loss is mixed, and as with all artificial ingredients should you choose one other than Stevia, may be best used conservatively, particularly if you are over 40 when cellular malfunctions tend to occur as part of the aging process.