Artificial sweeteners are publicized as no-calorie sugar substitutes that can give you the taste you crave without adding extra calories; but, not all sugar substitutes are the same. The type of artificial sweetener you are using matters when it comes to losing weight, and products that contain aspartame may actually be hindering your weight loss efforts. So, are there any good zero-calorie alternatives to sugar? I’ll leave that up to you to decide, but here are some facts about the two most popular sugar substitutes, sucralose and aspartame, and how they really help with weight loss.
Aspartame may very well be the worst sugar substitute yet
Aspartame, also known by the brand name NutraSweet, has a strong presence in many low calorie or zero calorie products as a food additive. Found in diet sodas, “light” yogurt, chewing gum, low-calorie snacks and even children’s vitamins, it has infiltrated some of the everyday foods we consume without many of us even noticing. But, here’s the problem: aspartame is not a heat-stable product, it breaks down into formaldehyde, and is a confirmed neurotoxin that wasn’t even tested on humans before it was approved for consumption. How does that sound so far?
In addition to aspartame being a neurotoxin, the main components of aspartame are phenylalanine and aspartic acid; these activate the body’s release of insulin and leptins, ultimately increasing the body’s desire to store fat. Plus, although aspartame stimulates the pleasure center of the brain in the same way sugar does, it does not provide any resulting satisfaction – leaving you with the same craving for sugar that you began with. In fact, Qing Yang, a researcher whose findings was published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, found that aspartame does actually have a greater likelihood of making you gain weight, rather than lose it. As it turns out, there are many studies that have determined that aspartame doesn’t really helps with weight loss at all; there is even evidence that aspartame is both addictive and bad for you, creating a whole host of problems aside from just a little extra weight (brain damage, mood swings, increased weight, behavioral changes, and more).
Sucralose and your health… the jury is still out
Another popular substitute with zero calories is sucralose (brand name, Splenda). Although it does have zero calories and does not appear to affect the body in the same way that aspartame does, it is still considered to be a facilitator for increased insulin levels. This is particularly problematic because it means that those who are overweight and consuming large amounts of sucralose may have a significantly increased risk for getting diabetes as a result. How? Most people who consume products with sucralose are often thicker around the middle and on diets (overweight = risk for type 2 diabetes), and their consumption of sucralose leads to increase insulin levels and increase blood sugar spikes. So, if you tend to eat a lot of simple carbohydrates and you’re consuming a lot of sucralose, you may just be giving yourself a recipe for diabetes down the road.
As far as whether or not sucralose is bad for you, it may not be in proper dosage, but it is also not “good” for you either. It is a chemical, not-nutritive sweetener that has been known to eliminate frequent headaches when eliminated from the diet. Furthermore, through the chemical process of making it, chlorine is used and may cause skin irritation and gastrointestinal problems, as well as the headaches already mentioned.
When trying to lose weight, the right artificial sweeteners often do play a role in your success — whether good for you or not. Sucralose, when used in moderation appears to be the better choice between the two. There is also another low calorie sweetener called Stevia, which may be used as an alternative to aspartame and sucralose and is completely natural, but is it not a prevalent ingredient in most commercially prepared products.
When it comes right down to it, aspartame appears to be one sugar substitute that you should be crossing completely off the list. If you must have products that contain an artificial sweetener and you have a choice between aspartame and other products, you make want to think about how aspartame will affect you before you decide.
All content within Totalbodytrans.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional.
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