Diabetes And Artificial Sweeteners – Are They Really As Good As They Say?
If you have Type 2 Diabetes, it is very important to take extra caution in maintaining the amount of sugar that you intake in your meals. Your dietician or doctor will often instruct you to cut down your sugar and carbohydrate intake but this will often require great discipline especially when you start craving for sweet foods. Good thing there are already a wide variety of artificial sweeteners available in the market. But finding the best ones among the multitude of sweeteners available can be very confusing.
Artificial sweeteners, also known as artificial sugars do not contain sugar at all but they taste like sugar. These sweeteners also do not affect the levels of blood sugar in your body. However, most of these artificial sweeteners might have a bit of calories or kilojoules in them.
These sweeteners are a popular alternative or substitute as they contain little to no calories and they also do not harm your blood sugar levels. The sweeteners, when inside the body are not broken down and processed so they easily pass the intestinal tract as is, except for aspartame.
These sweeteners are commonly used by manufacturers of products that cater do diabetics and those who are conscious about their weight and the type of food they are eating.
Aspartame, a nutritive sweetener, was invented during the 1980s. It was commonly known through its popular brand names such as Spoonfuls, Sweetmate, and Equal. Aspartame is taken from natural sources and it is metabolized and digested by the body, just like food containing protein. Unlike sugar, aspartame is considered 200 times more sweeter so much less amounts of this sweetener is needed to satisfy your sweetness cravings.
Aspartame can be found in the following: Desserts, different kinds of snack foods, gums and candies, salad dressings, beverages, and breakfast cereals.
Another known sweetener is Sucralose, which is also popularly known as Splenda. It is known to be 600 times sweeter than sugar and is in a crystalline powder form made from sugar. Sucralose cannot be absorbed in the body’s digestive tract so has zero calories.
Sucralose or Splenda can be found in the following: most packaged foods, baked goods, frozen foods, and hot or cold foods.
These artificial sweeteners that are easily available in the market should only be used to satisfy your cravings for something sweet. Health experts still advise that these sweeteners should be taken in moderation and physical activity, along with a healthy diet is still the best way available to reduce weight as well as caloric intake.
You should also take in consideration the fact that most of the foods where artificial sweeteners are used will still contain calories. It is true that the sweeteners themselves contain zero calories but the rest of the ingredients present in the food you eat will still contain some calories. Make sure to take special precautions and continue to monitor your caloric intake to be sure.
Artificial Sweeteners Side Effects to Consider
Also take note of the downsides of artificial sweeteners:
- Artificial sweeteners often leave a bitter aftertaste, which is tolerable for some but can be bothersome for others.
- Sucralose or Splenda might alter the intestinal bacterial environment in your body, increasing your risks in acquiring gastrointestinal infections caused by the infiltration of microorganisms that cause diseases. This has been proven through a study conducted by the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health (2008).
- There are also reported cases that show artificial sweeteners such as Splenda, causing drug interactions according to the study made by the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. Moreover, further research is needed to prove this finding.