Diet and Nutrition

Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe for Diabetes Patients?

Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe for Diabetes Patients?

The consumption of sugar has always been something to talk about. It is not healthy, helps people to gain weight, causes diabetes, affects the brain, and other things. But, the biggest problem is people don’t know how to control the amount of sugar they intake. While sugar is something that's very delicious, it is also a bad element for the overall health. People, especially those with diabetes, may think using artificial sweetener is the way to go. However, artificial sweeteners usually have their own negative health impacts. Keep reading to learn about the affects of sugar and artificial sweeteners on the body.

Risks of sugar

  • It is bad for your teeth and has no essential nutrients: Most people often heard as a kid, maybe even every single day, things like “brush your teeth after eating candies” and “don’t eat too much candy”. These are good warnings for kids, because it is true that candy is not good for health. In candy, there are typically no proteins, essential fats, vitamins or minerals. Sugar is also bad for the teeth, as it decays the teeth.
  • Could be bad for your liver: Fructose is something the body does not produce and the body doesn’t need it. The only organ capable of metabolizing fructose is the liver, but only in minimum amounts. Fruits are free from guilt in this part, as fruits have minimum doses of fructose. Fruits have natural sugars, but even too much of this is not good for the body.
  • Watch out with diabetes: Insulin is the hormone that allows glucose to enter the cells in the bloodstream, but having too much glucose is not good to the body. It can cause several complications of diabetes, like blindness. When eating lots of sugar, the body can have an insulin resistance and this can turn into Type II Diabetes.
  • Cancer is another big problem: Cancer is one of the biggest problems in health today, and the presence of sugar in the body makes insulin unstable so the growth of cancer might be easier. There is much evidence that sugar affects metabolism.
  • Dopamine: The effects of sugar in the body can be bigger than you think. Sugar can release big amounts of dopamine, and this will make sugar a highly addictive substance and it is the same problem with a lot of junk food.
  • A major problem is obesity: The number one problem, and it does not matter age, as children and adults are equally at risk, is obesity. Because people are addicted to foods high in sugar, they become obese. Obesity is a dangerous health issue.
Have a question aboutDiabetesAsk a doctor now

All about moderation

When people are suffering from multiple of these problems and when finally they start to do something, they make think they are helping themselves when they actually are not. The consumption of artificial sweeteners is one of these decisions. Leaving sugar out of the diet is the best option, but trying to replace it is not that good. Moderation is the key; people can control what they eat and what they add to their foods. Sometimes when certain ingredients or additives like sugar are replaced, even worse products are used instead. These substitutes often have chemicals in them and heavy processes that the human body cannot control.

There are a lot of unnatural products to consume, but somehow the body doesn’t have the resources or the capacity to absorb them and the body makes efforts that it can handle for a certain time and the results are not good. You can break down one of your organs or simply you can obtain an illness. Nowadays, it is not a myth that many of the chemicals or products that are commonly used to replace not only sugar, but other substances as well, are bad for our health. They are not even natural.

Types of artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are an option and they come in different categories: Artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, novel sweeteners, and natural sweeteners. These are what each category composes of:

  • Artificial sweeteners: Acesulfame potassium, Aspartame, Neotame, Saccharin, Sucralose, advantame.
  • Sugar Alcohols: (generally founded in processed food) erythritol, hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol.
  • Novel sweeteners: stevia extracts, tagatose, trehalose.
  • Natural sweeteners: (generally safer) agave nectar, date sugar, fruit juice concentrate, honey, maple syrup, molasses.

Artificial sweeteners can also be found added into different products, sodas, candies, bakery products, jams and jellies, and other daily products.

Somehow, there are some advantages of consuming artificial sweeteners. People with diabetes can consume products with these ingredients. These sweeteners don’t raise blood sugar levels because there are not carbohydrates in them. People who want to reduce weight also use them as an option. On the other hand, there are some studies that say artificial sweeteners don’t help with reducing weight.

Affects of aspartame

Talking about Aspartame, negative evidence has been found that some products contain it and it is causing some health problems. It was discovered about 20 years ago, and since then it has been the most controversial sweetener of all time. Several industries have even replaced it for all the damages it has caused.

The damages reported include brain damage, epilepsy, infertility, liver problems and much more. This is the most used sweetener in the food industry, and the most controversial because of all the damages. People through the years have been reporting the following conditions: migraines, changes in vision, nausea and vomiting, insomnia/sleep problems, abdominal and join pains, changes in heart rate, depression, memory loss, seizures and brain cancer.

As said before, the best option to have a clean life is just control and keep track of portions of sugar. In fact, moderation with everything you eat or do, not only with sugar, will be beneficial to your health. Do it with salt, alcohol, colorants and all the artificial things you usually consume. As we have been reading, all we learned is that sugar is not necessary for the body, and the necessary amount is produced by the body.

It is true that the body needs a lot of energy to work, to do exercise, to practice sports, develop all the tasks we daily have, but you can obtain energy from different sources. If you need sugar, get it from fruits, the best and natural way. It is okay to eat some candies once a week, once or twice a month, but everything with moderation.

Final thoughts

Check out what you eat, too. Not all the products you buy with a “sugar-free” label is true or free from calories, and many of the time those products have more calories than you can imagine. Have in mind that processed food is not always a good option, because the amount of calories and they contain sugar substitutes and they don’t offer the same benefits as natural foods.

These will only help you to gain some weight. Also, you can find several brands that make food with natural processes, and those can be options but you need to know that the process can take away most of the nutrients, minerals and benefits.

Leave behind processed food, junk food and always choose to eat natural. Include vegetables and fruits to your daily diet, drink more water, make a natural juice, but don’t add sugar. In addition to your diet, it is always recommended to stay active and healthy. Help yourself to stay on top of your health. It is in your hands. Just read a bit more, stay informed, choose what is best for you, and go to the doctor.

Key Takeaways

  • While sugar is bad for the health, using artificial sweeteners can be just as bad or worse.
  • One artificial sweetener, aspartame, has been reported to cause many serious damages including brain damage, epilepsy, infertility, liver problems and much more.
  • The best method is having very little amounts of sugar in moderation, or eating natural sugars found in fruit.