So who thinks ‘Non-caloric artificial sweeteners’ are better for you than sugar?   Think again.

Wow, ‘the weighty cost of artificial sweeteners’ – I have always suspected these tiny innocuous looking alternatives (saccharin, sucralose, aspartame)  were wolves in sheep’s clothing!

Now it’s been confirmed by researchers who recently published a study in ‘Nature’, showing how artificial sweeteners significantly altered the gut microflora of 400 people in their study. And not in a good way, resulting in ‘raised blood glucose’ at significantly higher levels than if sugar had been consumed, and impairing ‘glucose tolerance’. So you may think you are avoiding calories, but you’re actually raising metabolic markers for diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

‘Non-caloric artificial sweeteners’ do have a seemingly rational mode of action, in that they are not digested in the small intestine, so can not be absorbed like sugar and glucose, but instead they pass through the digestive tract reaching the bacterial colonies residing in the large intestine.

Earlier studies have shown the relationship between regular consumption of fizzy soft drinks and increased weight gain and metabolic diseases, and this study shows that opting for artificial sweeteners is not the healthier alternative suggested by the marketing. On the contrary, Suez and colleagues’ data indicate that consumption of artificial sweeteners may contribute to rather than alleviate, obesity related metabolic conditions, by altering the composition and function of the resident bacterial colonies in the gut.

So reduce sugar intake by ensuring meals are balanced with satiating protein and healthy fats, which will sustain your energy levels for longer and keep sweet cravings for unhealthy snacks at bay. Keep food REAL, not chemically altered and processed.

Reference

Suez et al., (2014) Artificial Sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota. Nature http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25231862