Health hazards: Your favourite artificial sweetener could make you sick
Artificial sweeteners have majorly substituted regular sugar in our lives, with more and more people aiming to lose a few pounds. But all that is sugar-free is not healthy. A number of studies suggest that there are various risks of using artificial sweeteners. The use of these so-called non-nutritive, non-caloric and high-intensity sweeteners can lead to various undesirable outcomes. The question that arises is that, are the artificial sweeteners used by countless bakers, offering the taste of sugar without any calories really a healthy choice? Well, yes. Artificial sweeteners, which are chemically different from sugar, are associated with various health issues and ailments. The severe risks of using artificial sweeteners make it imperative to keep a check on their use. Basically, artificial sweeteners are a food additive produced synthetically that provides a sweet and sugary taste. They lead to the activation of receptors on the tongue that lets the brain know the person is eating or drinking something sweet. As a matter of fact, the consumption of sugar-sweetened food and beverages is one of the most common causes of diabetes. Also, there exists various possible links between artificial sweeteners and weight or health issues like obesity. The most commonly used artificial sweeteners in food products are Aspartame (which is about 180 times sweeter than sugar and its 1 g equals to four calories), Acesulfame potassium (around 200 times sweeter than sugar), Sucralose (the best sweetener which is almost 600 times sweeter than sugar) and Saccharin (around 300 times sweeter than sugar). They are abundantly present in the food items like cupcakes, candies, soft drinks, fruit juice, baked goods, jams and jellies, gelatin desserts, cereals, powdered drink mixes, puddings, canned foods, dairy products, tea beverages, sugar-free chewing gums, ice cream and yogurt. The major risks of using artificial sweeteners include:
- Increasing your appetite and calorie consumption significantly, artificial sweeteners lead to increase in your body weight. As a matter of fact, a person is likely to consume larger portions when they eat food having artificial sweeteners. Also, the food items containing these sweeteners are rich in carbohydrates as well.
- The human body undergoes a number of metabolic changes due to the consumption of sugar-sweetened food. It also increases the risk of diabetes and disrupts the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar.
- There is a direct link between the consumption of artificial sweeteners and the risk of cardiovascular disorders, high blood pressure and coronary heart diseases. The more the consumption, greater is the risk.
- People consuming artificial sweeteners regularly have a greater risk of suffering from metabolic syndrome (which includes the issues like increased blood pressure, high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels).
- The amount of sweetness present in artificial sweeteners is a lot higher than normal sugar. This results in the taste buds becoming less receptive due to their consumption.