The Case Against Artificial Sweeteners

Fat loss is often times simplified and broken down to equate to nothing more than calories in versus calories out. For the most part this is a sound formula, but the fat loss equation is a little more complicated than that.

In an attempt to stymie the number of calories they’re eating people will often resort to substituting artificial sweeteners, or consuming foods that contain artificial sweeteners, in place of their calorie-heavy, real sugar alternatives.

Unbeknownst to them, artificial sweeteners aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Truth be told, they can be just as fat-inducing as regular sugars (or more so) and also come with several noteworthy health risks when used regularly.

The average person isn’t aware of this fact, which is why so many continue to ingest dangerous artificial sweeteners on a daily basis, while continuing to be unhappy with the body they see in the mirror.

Let’s have a more detailed look at three reasons why artificial sweeteners ought to be avoided like moldy bread.

Artificial Sweeteners Cause Severe Health Problems

Artificial sweeteners come in several forms. The most well-known, perhaps, is aspartame.

Aspartame is used in most diet sodas and a host of other products that utilize artificial sugars to mitigate their calorie counts. Aspartame has been implicated as being carcinogenic, being linked to causing a number of cancers.

Studies have also concluded that those regularly ingesting artificial sugars are at increased risk of not only developing cancer, but type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity, as well.

The health risks listed above include the most common causes of death in America today. If that isn’t enough to scare you out of consuming artificial sweeteners, perhaps the fact that they will also cause you to gain body fat will.

Artificial Sweeteners and the Metabolism
As you’re probably already aware, the metabolism is the body’s natural fat burning engine. When it’s operating efficiently fat loss becomes incredibly easy.

When the metabolism is dragging, however, fat loss slows considerably and can even seem to stop altogether. The organ in the body that determines one’s metabolic rate more than any other is the liver.

The liver is responsible for oxidizing body fat, but it also functions as a detoxifier, breaking down harmful agents that have penetrated the body so they can be safely flushed out as urine or solid excrement.

Artificial sweeteners are made up of unnatural, man-made chemical compounds that are toxic to the body. In fact, if they were allowed to accumulate it would kill us. So, when artificial sugars are ingested the liver must work to break them down to have them flushed out of the system.

When the liver is bogged down with having to rid the body of toxic chemicals its fat oxidizing responsibilities are placed on the back burner.

There are a number of sources responsible for introducing harmful chemical agents into our body and many of them are out of our control. So our metabolisms are going to take a hit no matter what we do.

Nevertheless, the foods we choose to consume are completely within our control.

The artificial chemicals in diet soda are precisely why people that switch to diet soda quickly become frustrated when they don’t see any fat coming off their bodies.

The chemicals in the artificial sweeteners are killing their metabolism, precluding them from gaining any fat-shedding benefit from reducing their calorie intake.

But there’s also another reason artificial sweeteners don’t lead to the fat losses people expect.

Artificial Sweeteners and Insulin
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas and it plays a prominent role in determining the body’s level of fat. I won’t delve too deeply into the details here, but when the body detects a sugar spike in the blood it releases insulin in order to drive the sugar out of the blood and into the various muscle and adipose (fat) tissues throughout the body.

This can provide a beneficial surge in energy to the muscles during times of intense physical activity. At times of relative inactivity, though, this sugar is mostly transported to the body’s fat tissues to be stored for later use. And that’s how we get fat!

Artificial sugars cause a release of insulin that’s similar to what regular sugars would induce and therefore induce a similar fat storing response. It can be counter intuitive to think about zero calorie sweeteners leading to the same kinds of fat gains as regular sugars, but because of the fact that the body responds similarly in terms of insulin excretion, this is the scenario that those relying on artificial sugars to help them cut body fat find themselves in.

Artificial Sweeteners are a Fraud
As I’ve hopefully convinced you, artificially sweeteners are a dangerous option that don’t live up to the hype that’s been placed on them.

Yes, they’re zero-calorie, but they don’t deliver on their fat shedding promises and will compromise your health in exponential proportions to boot.

So I have to ask, what’s the point?

There isn’t one. We’ve been deceived by clever marketing tactics. And that’s the gist of it.

If you want to lose fat, cutting corners won’t get you there. Not only will trying to cut corners with artificial sweeteners not enable you to lose fat, but it will put you at risk for a number of terrifying health problems.

In other words, artificial sweeteners are not the answer for losing fat! Let me leave you with the truth…

Limit your calories, time your carbs, eat natural unprocessed foods and exercise regularly. That really is the only way to

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©2010 Lali Masriera. CC BY 2.0
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