Despite having an eBook out on the evils of artificial sweeteners, I still get pushback from many that I talk to.
Maybe that’s because society has slowly introduced a variety of artificial sweeteners over the years, putting them into more and more products consumed by the unwary public. We were in Cancun recently and my son wanted some yogurt and granola. However, even the “plain” yogurt had sucralose in it. Should we be surprised that Mexico has now passed the US as the most obese country on the planet?
Good luck finding gum without multiple artificial sweeteners in it. Some restaurants only carry “light” lemonade and do not inform customers of this unless asked. We have “sugar free” energy drinks, which is technically not even possible since the body’s ultimate source of fuel is sugar. We give our toddlers diet coke without a second thought.
All of this acceptance is fueled by our desire to satisfy our craving for sweet, reinforced by the belief that it will help to keep us from gaining weight. The reality is a far cry from the belief.
This particular study adds additional research to the links between artificial sweeteners, weight gain and diabetes. This mouse study looked at what artificial sweeteners (referred to as non-nutritive sweeteners, or NNS) did to risk factors for diabetes. Specifically, researchers compared the effects of sucrose (table sugar) to artificial sweeteners. Here’s what they found:
- The sucrose increased blood sugar, body fat and body weight.
- NNS, on the other hand, did not increase blood sugar levels.
- But, NNS increased insulin levels and body fat (neither a good thing).
- Worse with NNS, in the fat cells, leptin and triglycerides levels increased.
- If this wasn’t bad enough, a compound called UCP-1 in brown fat was lower with NNS.
What does this last little tidbit mean?
Well, brown fat is a type of fat that we use to generate heat by burning calories. And only burning calories. Basically, brown fat burns calories like a furnace. Infants and bats have brown fat, but we’ve always thought that brown fat disappears as we age. Recent research supports the idea that adults DO have brown fat. A tissue that helps you burn calories. Sounds like a dream weight loss program.
And artificial sweeteners shut it down. Does this sound like something that’s going to help avoid diabetes and obesity? Absolutely not.
So the next time you move to pick up that diet Coke or chomp on that Juicy Fruit, purchase that Medifast “medical” food from your doctor, realize that these products WILL make you fatter and increase your risk for diabetes. There is no longer any room to deny this fact.