4 Reasons Why Artificial Sweeteners Lead to Diabetes and Poor Health

Artificial sweeteners might appear to be an easy way to save calories, but  if you look at the big picture, they are really not so sweet. They do not reduce calories overall and artificial sweeteners may cause you to lose your taste for fruits and vegetables; which means you'll end up eating higher calorie snacks with no nutritional benefits. In addition, not only do you have a spiked calorie level, you have a decreased amount of nutrients in your body. Artificial sweeteners replace essential vitamins and minerals in sugar with unnecessary chemicals and toxins which in turn harm your vital organs. Their long-term effects are disastrous. The same diseases that you tried to avoid by using artificial sweaters, such as diabetes, may in fact be caused by them. The best way to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet is to follow the American Heart Association’s Dietary Guidelines and eat lots of unprocessed, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. 

Here are four reasons why artificial sweeteners aren't worth it.

1) Fake Sweets Lead to Extra Treats

While many people use artificial sweeteners to reduce calories, people tend to gain weight instead.  Christopher Gardner at Stanford University says, “When people eat foods with non-nutritive sweeteners, people tend to compensate more by eating more calories… it seems to be physiological.”  People think they have saved calories using the artificial sweetener, so they tend to reward themselves later in the day.  Consuming the high calorie snack later in the day causes a higher calorie intake than if they just used real sugar and skipped the treat. 

2) Real Sweets Don’t Seem as Sweet

Artificial sweeteners make healthy food less appealing. Dr. Ludwig, Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School explains, “These sugar substitutes are extremely sweet, so they may desensitize people to sweetness. As a result, nutritious, filling foods that aren’t as sweet — such as fruits and vegetables — may lose their appeal.” Artificial sweeteners might initially save calories, but they are no replacement for foods that contain essential vitamins and minerals, such as fruits and vegetables. People are better off without the loss in calories than the loss in these healthy foods.    

3) Fake Sweets Are Full of Chemicals and Toxins  

Artificial sweeteners are unhealthy for your body. “Artificial sweeteners are a mix of unnatural chemicals, combined in a laboratory that the body can’t naturally process,” according to Dr. Janet Starr Hull. At least one artificial sweetener, Sucralose (Splenda), contains chlorine, a carcinogen.  Compounds containing chlorine have caused liver and kidney damage, and can penetrate the intestine wall. 

4) Side Effects of Artificial Sweeteners Are Not So Sweet

New information suggests that artificial sweeteners have some sour side effects. The June Newport Natural Health Letter reported that synthetic sweetener side effects include migraine headaches, seizures, abdominal pain, brain tumors, premature birth, and more. A Harvard Medical School study entitled Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, of July 16, reports that those drinking diet drinks on a daily basis had a 36% greater risk for metabolic syndrome and a 67% increased risk for type-2 diabetes. 

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Charis Stanek

I am a rising junior at the Miami Valley School, an independent high school in the Dayton area.

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