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Are artificial sweeteners bad for you?

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Old 03-14-2012, 07:36 AM   #16
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Thanks for the info about Stevia! I can't seem to find it where I'm located (on a military base). Hopefully when we go home I'll be able to find it in the stores. Is it pretty readily available from what those of you who use it have seen?
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:32 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by threenorns View Post

"A study presented at a American Diabetes Association meeting this week shows that drinking diet soda is associated with a wider waist in humans. And a second study shows that aspartame -- an artificial sweetener in diet soda -- actually raises blood sugar in mice prone to diabetes. "

the rest of it is here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_886409.html
I think the link is more likely that people who are using artificial sweetners are probably already overweight and that's the reason they are using them whereas people who aren't overweight likely wouldn't bother using them at all.

I can't seem to verify this second study spoken of here. When I read about a study done on done by the American Physiological Society it read "only glucose evoked a statistically significant elevation of insulin levels" and they tested all kinds of sweetners.

I've been diabetic and personally found no affects of artificial sweetners on my glucose levels.

Some sugar alcohols cause a negligible increase in blood glucose levels but not an appreciable difference. However, this was experienced only as a small increase(still considered negligible) and it was by people who were already diabetic.






Quote:
Originally Posted by threenorns View Post
the logic flies:

the first step in digestion is taste.

when you taste food, it sets of a chain of events. if you taste "sweet", your body begins to mobilise insulin.

so here you intake a chemical that is radically sweet but doesn't actually have any bioavailable sugars. the insulin comes in - and there's nothing there so now there's an insulin reaction leading to cravings and a subsequent binge.


I am all too familiar with diabetes and have been diabetic. From my experience and the experience of diabetic people I've found the studies to hold true, artificial sweetners did not have a appreciable impact on glucose levels.

Your body will get ready to process food from lots of cues like sights and smells of food cooking and it's no doubt that could cause your neuropathways to signal "we might be eating soon", however, insulin is secreted in response to raising glucose levels. Unless those glucose levels actually rise there is no spike in blood sugars and no subsequent fall from the spike.

Again, speaking from my experience, it takes a large glucose spike to cause this fall in blood sugar that triggers binges . Even if a person managed to get their glucose levels to increase using artificial sweetners, it's doubtful that it would be enough to cause such a binge from the fall of glucose levels. Also, if a person could get this to happen, it would probably take a very badly diabetic person.
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:56 AM   #18
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Well, I'll tell you what troubles me is that I avoid artificial sweeteners, only to find that companies are adding them to NON-DIET foods. Regular gum, Wrigleys--has artificial sweetener. If you contact them, they call it a flavor enhancer. My butt. Thanks, but no. Read the labels peeps, read the labels.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:45 AM   #19
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Well, I'll tell you what troubles me is that I avoid artificial sweeteners, only to find that companies are adding them to NON-DIET foods. Regular gum, Wrigleys--has artificial sweetener. If you contact them, they call it a flavor enhancer. My butt. Thanks, but no. Read the labels peeps, read the labels.
Yes, I find that very shady. My Mom is really sensitive to artificial sweetners and it bothers me that they are sneaky like that. High fructose corn syrup aggravates my acid reflux way worse than sugar and they put that stuff in everything. You really do have to read labels to protect yourself.

Artificial sweetners are in no way health foods. They are just a decent alternative for people who can't have sugars and syrups. It's a lesser of the two evils sort of thing. Hopefully, we won't find out down the road that it's all caused "new and improved" health problems....
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:40 PM   #20
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All I need to know about artificial sweeteners is they give me terrible migraines. That to me is a particularly strong indication that it is something that I should not be introducing into my body. I also get headaches from white (processed) stevia and liquid stevia but they aren't migraines which makes me think it has been altered in a way which is not healthy. Artificial sweeteners are man made chemicals which don't serve any type of medical purpose. You can make healthy choices that don't involve adding sweeteners to your diet. Sugar alcohols are better but still I think sticking to naturals forms of sugar in it's purest most unprocessed forms are the healthiest options.
I am a big fan of honey and organic maple sugar and a little goes a long way. You can also try yacon syrup, coconut nectar, coconut sugar,or lucuma powder.
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:40 AM   #21
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I use local, raw honey as my sweetener.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:54 PM   #22
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Isn't stevia a plant? It's not an artificial sweetener.

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Old 04-27-2012, 06:28 PM   #23
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The genus Stevia consists of 240 species of plants native to South America. So yes it is a plant. I prefer raw honey.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:23 PM   #24
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my bad - too used to saying "artificial sweetener" when stevia is just a "sweetener" or "sugar substitute".
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:52 AM   #25
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I have to be honest and say that I starve for sugar since I started my diet. It seriously feels like its calling my name. I guess this is what addiction is.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:49 PM   #26
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Hmmm. I started on my weight loss journey after eating way too many sugary snacks and fat-filled fast food burgers. I know for a fact that *those* things helped fatten me up, especially around the middle. I started using generic splenda in my coffee the same time I started trying to lose the weight. For me, the effect of splenda has been a bit of a loss around the middle...at least I think so because I wear smaller pants. I am a dreadful caffeine addict and drink a lot of coffee each day. Sometimes I add diet dr. pepper or diet 7-up too. I decided that the health risks from the excess sugar consumption far exceeded the risks for me to use splenda in my coffee. Thankfully, I don't get migraines anymore except for one that is occasionally triggered by my husband.

IMHO, nothing is innately "bad" or "good". It has to be a form of food economics for each individual. True cost is alternative cost.

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Old 07-14-2012, 02:52 PM   #27
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I REALLY hate how augmented food has become. I know it is just a pipe dream, but I wish that it was possible for companies to produce sweet snacks that were simply just LESS SWEET than they are now. They would still be delicious, and our tastes would naturally adjust to the reduction in added sugar, but of course, they have to create a sugar free, artificially sweetened product than practice any moderation in the sweetening of our foods, as if calories were an all or nothing battle.

Not that I blame the companies, really. A profit is a profit, and if anything, I think it is the general public's lack of nutrition education that is doing us the most harm.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:40 PM   #28
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I just wanted to say that replacing regular coke with diet coke has helped me lose weight. None of the studies have convinced me that it's terrible for my health. I try not to drink it too often, but at the end of the day I think a consuming a 2.4 calorie diet coke and 255.6 calories worth of healthy snacks is much better than consuming a 258 calorie regular coke.

It does make me a little bit hungrier throughout the day, but not so much that I fall off the bandwagon and binge. I get around this problem by drinking it a couple of hours before lunch.
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:39 AM   #29
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I lost over 100 pounds and used artificial sweetners to help keep my calories in check so no I'm not in the camp that says artificial sweetners "make you gain weight". Certainly some individuals are sensitive to artificial sweetners but considering they are "0" calories (or close to), I have a hard time believing they result in a 3500 calorie increase in what your body requires which is what it would take to actually gain one pound. I will say that I have switched more to using Truvia which is extracted from the Stevia leaf because it feels more like sugar and it's a bit healthier.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:01 PM   #30
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There are studies out there that can prove, or disprove, anything and everything. Who really knows?

On a personal note, I lost 65 lbs. and have maintained that loss for some time now by using artificial sweeteners. I do use them sparingly, but I use them. And I'm very thankful that they are available.

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