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ZOE Science And Nutrition Summary : Artificial sweeteners - worse than sugar?

Podcast: ZOE Science And Nutrition
4 min. read

— Description —

Artificial sweeteners are everywhere. Not only in diet soft drinks but in many foods that you wouldn’t expect. You’ve probably eaten some today without realising. Sweeteners have been around for over a hundred years yet remain the subject of much debate. It's hard to know how they stack up next to the alternatives. In today’s short episode of ZOE Science & Nutrition, Jonathan and Sarah ask: are artificial sweeteners worse than sugar? Follow ZOE on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zoe/ Download our FREE guide — Top 10 Tips to Live Healthier: https://zoe.com/freeguide Studies referenced in the episode: Stevia Leaf to Stevia Sweetener: Exploring Its Science, Benefits, and Future Potential from The Journal of Nutrition here Chronic Intake of Commercial Sweeteners Induces Changes in Feeding Behavior and Signaling Pathways Related to the Control of Appetite in BALB/c Mice from Biomed Res Int here This podcast was produced by Fascinate Productions.

Artificial sweeteners - worse than sugar?

Key Takeaways

  • Artificial sweeteners are used as an alternative to sugar to reduce overall sugar intake
  • Some sweeteners occur naturally, such as stevia, while others contain calories and are nutritive, and some are non-nutritive and have no calories
  • The four most commonly consumed artificial sweeteners are Aspartame, Ace K, Saccharin, and Sucralyze, and the type of sweeteners used vary from country to country and also depending on the products
  • Replacing sugars with artificial sweeteners will prevent the large peaks and dips in blood glucose typically seen after consuming sugar or refined carbohydrates
  • Research in mice has shown that sweeteners can impair glucose control, contrary to expectations
  • A recent paper from the Weisman Institute revealed that sucralose and saccharin impaired blood glucose control, while aspartame and a control had no effect
  • Artificial sweeteners have been linked to cancer risks in the past, and there are four main arguments against their use: cancer risk, impairment of glucose control, modification of microbiome composition, and increased desire for sweetness
  • Artificial sweeteners are considered a healthier alternative to full sugar drinks, but changing from full sugar drinks to low-calorie alternatives with artificial sweeteners will have either no effect or only

1. Comprehensive Guide to Artificial Sweeteners: History, Development, and Impact on Taste

  • Artificial sweeteners are used as an alternative to sugar to reduce overall sugar intake
  • Some sweeteners occur naturally such as stevia, some contain calories and are nutritive, and some are non-nutritive and have no calories
  • Stevia has been used for around 200 years and has seen a massive increase in consumption since being made legal in the EU in 2011 and in the US in 2008
  • The four most commonly consumed artificial sweeteners are Aspartame, Ace K, Saccharin, and Sucralyze, and the type of sweeteners used vary from country to country and also depending on the products
  • Replacing sugars with artificial sweeteners will prevent the large peaks and dips in blood glucose typically seen after consuming sugar or refined carbohydrates

2. Understanding the Effects of Sugar Alternatives on Blood Glucose Control and Weight

  • Research in mice has shown that sweeteners can impair glucose control, which is contrary to what one would expect
  • A recent paper from the Weisman Institute revealed that sucralose and saccharin impaired blood glucose control, while aspartame and a control had no effect
  • Artificial sweeteners have been linked to cancer risks in the past
  • There are four main arguments against the use of sweeteners: cancer risk, impairment of glucose control, modification of microbiome composition, and increased desire for sweetness

3. Exploring the Impact of Artificial Sweeteners on Health and Diet

  • Artificial sweeteners are considered as a healthier alternative to full sugar drinks
  • Changing from full sugar drinks to low-calorie alternatives with artificial sweeteners will have either no effect or only a small effect on energy intake and body weight
  • Consumption of full sugar drinks is way above the recommended amount and needs to be reduced
  • Obesity continued to rise even faster during the period when diet drinks became popular, indicating the failure of the scientific experiment
  • The impact of artificially sweetened drinks on the microbiome is not well understood, making it challenging to manage their effects
  • Many people unknowingly consume artificial sweeteners hidden in various products
  • Consuming full sugar drinks can have a shocking impact on blood sugar levels, leading to hunger later
  • Opting for water or milk is recommended, with artificially sweetened drinks as the second best option
  • Science is swiftly changing in this area, indicating the need for further evidence and research