I have never liked the taste of artificial sweeteners. They taste off-putting. It just ruins the taste of beverages I’m used to. I’ve even tried the latest Coke Zero, and it tastes just as bad as its predecessor. After just two sips I threw the bottle in the bin. I am not someone with a sweet tooth. Barely go for chocolates or candy or even cakes. But when I do, it has to be made with sugar.

You’ve also seen the ads. Sugar is not good for you. We should all be substituting sugar with something that’s NOT sugar. Beside’s it’s the healthier choice. But I for one cannot stomach the taste of artificial sweeteners.

Many people, of course, don’t feel the same way as I. They may be trying to cut back for dietary purposes or prefer the taste of artificial sweeteners over sugar. Artificial sweeteners are also used as food additives by patients with diabetes.

So it has to be safe, right?

Well, perhaps not.

A recent study conducted by the University of Adelaide on the consumption of artificial sweeteners took 27 healthy volunteers and separated them into two groups. The first test group was given two capsules of artificial sweeteners consisting of sucralose, and acesulfame K, three times a day for two weeks. The second group was given a placebo. The dosage given to the first test group was equivalent to consuming 1.5 liters of a diet beverage daily.

What the researchers discovered was that by the end of two weeks, the group that was given the artificial sweeteners had altered the ability for their body’s to control the levels of glucose in the blood.
Their gut peptides, which prevent the surge of blood glucose levels after eating and drinking, were impaired.

The authors of the research said that their findings support previous studies on artificial sweeteners. Where consumption of artificial sweeteners could reduce the body’s control of blood sugar levels and highlights the potential for exaggerated post-meal glucose levels in high habitual NAS [non-caloric artificial sweeteners] users, which could predispose them to develop type 2 diabetes.

This is in line with previous studies conducted on the consumption of artificial sweeteners. One of them was a 2009 study which found that those who consumed diet soda on a daily basis are 36% more likely to develop metabolic syndrome and 67% more likely to develop type-2 diabetes than people who don’t consume artificial sweeteners.

Yet, the scientific community is not ready to openly agree that artificial sweeteners are potentially detrimental to your health.

“More research needs to be done with a larger sample of human test subjects.”

I for one am not waiting around for the results. I’ll stick to natural sugars and cut out as much as I can of the processed stuff. What we need to remind ourselves is that our brain needs sugar. Around 400 calories of glucose a day. So if you need to satisfy that craving, perhaps you should snack on a nice juicy fruit, or if you are too lazy to chew. A smoothie will do the trick.

I heard a Banana a day keeps the doctor away.


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