In an attempt to be healthy, we try to come up with alternative ways to get our sugar fix. Whether it’s reaching for a diet soda or perhaps that “sugar-free” treat, these “healthier” alternatives are toxic to your gut. The average person (particularly female) can admit to having a sweet tooth, and treating ourselves to these lighter options loaded with artificial sweeteners actually does much more harm than good.
No refined sugar is good for your body, and although these products boast sugar-free claims, the chemicals that they contain are no safer for you. Aspartame in particular (which can be found in Diet Coke), has millions of Americans hopelessly addicted. While you think you are doing yourself a favor by reaching for the diet products to limit your sugar intake, these strange chemical concoctions greatly affect your gut health. And why? Because these magical molecules get you quickly addicted, and are damaging to our gut health in many ways:
Disrupting Digestive Function
When artificial sweeteners enter our body, almost instantly they alter the healthy balance of bacteria in our gut. In a study to mark the changes of artificial sweeteners on gut health, participants consumed artificial sweeteners daily for one week and in just that period of time many started showing glucose intolerance. Including this, all were noted as having changes to the composition of their gut bacteria. When the makeup of your gut health is compromised, this invites digestive issues such as flatulence, constipation and/or diarrhea, malabsorption and even a lowered immune system.
Noted side effects of artificial sweeteners:
Chemical Reactions Increase Appetite
In recent studies, it has been revealed that artificial sweeteners trick the brain and cause metabolic derangements as a result. Our metabolism works to regulate the amount of food that we eat and helps us to feel full after eating. When this becomes significantly imbalanced we eat in excess as our satiety complex is ineffective. This is because the majority of artificial sweeteners that we consume pass through our gastrointestinal tract without first being digested. So when they reach our intestine, these harsh chemical compounds directly encounter our delicate gut bacteria–and destroy it.
Increased Risk of Diabetes
The point of reaching for sugar substitutes for many people is to give them the sugar taste minus the calories, but this doesn’t come without a health cost attached. You think that you will lose weight by choosing the “healthier” option, but all this does is damage your gut. In a study conducted with mice, scientist gave mice water to drink that was mixed with artificial sweeteners (such as saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose) and the mice developed gluten intolerances as a result. The scary thing is, gluten intolerance is a precursor to much larger illnesses, like type 2 diabetes.
See the chart below for an extensive study that was conducted on female participants, in the span of 14 years:
All Artificial Sweeteners Are Created Equal–Meaning All Our Bad!
Equal, Sweet’N Low, Splenda, Stevia, no matter what the type or brand, all of these are just as bad to your gut health. These can be found in everything from diet sodas, protein bars, sports drinks and even chewing gum, and often times you may not even realize it unless you were to read the label. Before you reach for those little miracle packets, thing again. All of them have side effects that can dangerously affect your gut health. Not only will these chemical substitutes damage your gut, but they have also been directly linked to cancer and heart disease.