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The Hidden Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners

The Hidden Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners More and more people are replacing sugar with splenda and other artificial sweeteners. Sugar consumption has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, cancer, insulin resistance, diabetes, and obesity. Ditching this ingredient is the first step to better health. Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners aren't safer either. Packed with chemicals and toxic compounds, they raise the risk of tumors and blood sugar conditions. What's Wrong with Artificial Sweeteners? Artificial sweeteners have been around since the 50s. They are designed as a safer, healthier alternative to sugar, and have little or no calories. These ingredients are used in thousands of products, from diet soda and sugar-free ice cream to potato chips, toothpaste, and chewing gum, Xylitol, sucralose, sorbitol, saccharin, aspartame, and acesulfame K are among the most popular sweeteners on the market. Even though manufacturers claim that sugar substitutes are safe, research says something else. These products may cause weight gain, blood sugar spikes, migraines, headaches, and even heart disease. Exposing the taste buds to fake sweeteners makes them less receptive to the natural flavor of fruit and other whole foods, which makes cravings worse. Artificial sweeteners also alter gut bacteria, affecting the body's hunger signals. Some cause insulin spikes just as sugar does. When someone eats artificial sweeteners, his pancreas releases insulin, which leads to an increase in blood sugar. This raises his risk of diabetes and metabolic disorders. Artificial sweeteners have been also shown to trigger hunger and overeating. These products are highly addictive, causing people to crave overly sweet foods. The only difference between sugar and artificial sweeteners lies in their calorie content. However, their side effects outweigh the benefits. Recent studies have found that daily consumption of diet soda and other beverages containing sweeteners increase diabetes risk by up to 67 percent and metabolic syndrome risk by 35 percent. These products may also contribute to the onset of liver disease, glucose intolerance, and metabolic disorders. Several studies conducted in the 70s have linked saccharin to an increased risk of cancer in lab rats. Worst Artificial Sweeteners and Their Side Effects Even though most sweeteners are derived from naturally occurring substances, it doesn't mean they're safe. Sucralose is made from chlorine, a well-known carcinogen. Aspartame may cause severe depression, slurring of speech, convulsions, headaches, dizziness, nausea, digestive distress, abdominal pain, fluid retention, birth defects, and brain tumors. Another popular sweetener is acesulfame potassium. This ingredient is 200 times sweeter than table sugar and contains methylene chloride, a carcinogen that may trigger nausea, tumor growth, liver failure, visual disturbances, and mental confusion. Neotame is up to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar. Regular consumption can lead to migraines, stomach pain, and digestive problems. Saccharin may cause severe allergic reactions, skin disorders, headaches, and indigestion due to its high content of sulfonamides. Xylithol is notorious for its effects on digestion. Most people experience, bloating, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. The safest alternative to sugar is stevia. This natural sweetener has no side effects and can be used on long term. Other ingredients, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa, and vanilla, enhance food flavor too, eliminating the need for sugar. Those who are not a diet can use applesauce, honey, agave syrup, maple syrup, or fruit purees. Even though they contain calories, they are healthier than sugar and artificial sweeteners.
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