Artificial Sweeteners

Too good to be true?

Artificial sweeteners are found in more than 6,000 food products and they are all derived in a laboratory. It is over a $1.5 billion industry.  Artificial sweeteners have been around since the 1960’s and they have been linked with metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, abdominal fat, bloating, increased hunger, and people who consume artificial sweeteners tend to be 30 pounds heavier than those who don’t.  In 1970, the Nurse’s Health Study found that over an 8 year period, people were using saccharin.  In 1980, the American Cancer Society studied more than 78,000 women and found that after one year of artificial sweetener use, they had gained more weight compared to women who had not used artificial sweeteners.  In 2008, Perdue Study showed rats who consumed zero calorie artificial sweeteners had higher body fat levels, more overall weight, and even after they stopped using the artificial sweeteners, had a hard time losing the weight.

The claims of artificial sweeteners are that they are generally recognized as safe, sweeter than sugar, don’t raise your blood sugar, and have zero calories, implying they prevent obesity.

Artificial sweeteners have been linked with headaches, brain cancer, holes in brain, could cause leukemia and lymphoma in lab animals, and methyl ester turns to methanol which is linked to MS. Granted, the animals used in the research were given 100 to 1,000 times the amount of normal human consumption.

There could be some explanations for the weight gain with using artificial sweeteners:

  • These chemical affect our body’s sensory system
  • Sweet foods provide a salient orosensory stimulus that prepares the body for caloric intake
  • Body gets ready for calories and they never come-so metabolic rate can actually slow down
  • Insulin is still secreted and it stores calories as fat-abdominal fat!
  • Stimulates hunger-for more sugar!
  • Interferes with satiety hormones


  •  Zero calorie sweeteners really just keep us addicted to sugar and ultimately we are likely to just overeat the real stuff
  • In moderation they are probably not going to cause cancer but they certainly can keep you from losing weight
  • Listen to your body, how do you feel after you consume them
  • If you are consuming more than 1 diet beverage every couple of days and you are having a difficult time with weight loss then cut it out of your diet
  • If you are consuming them daily-cut back at the very least

Better Choices

  • Homemade unsweetened applesauce
  • Mashed banana
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla bean