How Unhealthy Are Artificial Sweeteners Compared To Sugar?

July 29, 2015


In recent years, we have been bombarded from the media with various information related to avoiding sugar at all cost and substituting it with artificial sweeteners. Experts from several leading universities and research institutions don’t seem to agree on the subject of sugar vs. artificial sweeteners, or at least on the adverse effects that artificial sweeteners actually produce in the body.

On the one side, Dr. Aaron E. Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University, has shared his views that artificial sweeteners found in diet soda are good enough for his kids to consume the sugary drinks a few times a week.

“The available evidence points to the fact that there appears to be a correlation between sugar consumption and health problems; none can be detected with artificial sweeteners.”

His statement was met with criticism on the other end, primarily from Susan E. Swithers, a professor of psychology at Purdue University.

“I would argue artificial sweeteners are not harmless, but may instead contribute to produce the very outcomes people are trying to avoid.”

So what should we layman do when even science can’t seem to agree on what’s healthy and what isn’t?

Avoiding sugar as much as possible will certainly have positive effects on our health, but what will consuming artificial sweeteners do? Swithers argues that when we consume something sweet, our body tells the brain to release insulin to absorb sugar. When the insulin finds to sugar to break down as there is none in artificial sweeteners, it tells our brain we’re hungry even when we’re not, which leads to unwanted weight gain.

It seems that artificial sweeteners aren’t the best of ideas.

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