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The Benefits of Cutting Back on Artificial Sweeteners

By Sara Butler

Everyone knows that added sugars are no good for your health and wellness. In fact, it's pretty clear that cutting back on sugar is what needs to happen in order to get healthy and stay that way. For many people, the solution to cutting back on the sweet stuff is to replace it with artificial sweet stuff, but is that the best choice? While these artificial sweeteners do help to lend sweetness to your meals without adding calories, they're not as great as you may think. Here are a few of the ways artificial sweeteners impact your health.

They're Not Satisfying

There's mounting evidence that artificial sweeteners may end up nudging people to actually eat more calories in a day. The Yale University School of Medicine found that artificial sweeteners don't signal the release of hormones in your brain that help to control appetite. So, consuming artificial sweeteners won't help to satisfy your appetite and trick the body into consuming more calories than it needs. So, think about that the next time you reach for a diet soda!

It Throws Your Sweet Tooth into Overdrive

Using artificial sweeteners frequently also limits your tolerance for more complex tastes, according to researchers at Yale. What that translates to is that because sweeteners are much more potent than natural sugar, the more of them you eat, the more your body starts to crave foods that are really sweet. So, over time, your taste for foods that aren't as sweet, such as fruit, starts to dwindle and you won't feel satisfied.

It Hurts Your Gut

The bacteria that live in your gut have an important job. They help you digest food and keep everything moving along. Researchers have found that artificial sweeteners such as saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame can contribute to diabetes and obesity because it throws a wrench in the workings of your gut bacteria. When you throw off your gut bacteria's ability to do their job, then you can increase your risk of obesity, impede your ability to absorb nutrients, and even regulate your immune system.

In the end, it's important to note that artificial sweeteners can save you a few calories here and there, but your focus should be on the types of foods you're eating that contain them. Highly processed foods should get thrown out. Stick to wholesome whole foods and your body will thank you.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Aurora, Colo.

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