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According to exciting new research, several common artificial sweeteners may have a previously unknown side effect. They affect the gut flora and may thereby elevate blood sugar. Not only in mice, but also in humans.
This is of course a result that needs to be repeated in more and larger studies in order to learn more about its significance. But it’s already another reason to play it safe and use caution when it comes to artificial sweeteners. Personally, I almost never use them. This is truly a matter of habit. More than a decade ago I used to drink diet soda regularly. Now I never do and I don’t miss it one bit.
Do you use artificial sweeteners and if so, for what? Continue Reading →
Do you want to lose weight? Here’s part 8 of a 17-part series of blog posts. You can read all the posted tips on the How to Lose Weight-page.
8. Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
Many people replace sugar with artificial sweeteners in the belief that this will reduce their calorie intake and cause weight loss. It sounds plausible. Several studies, however, have failed to show any positive effect on weight loss by consuming artificial sweeteners instead of plain sugar.
Instead, according to scientific studies, artificial sweeteners can increase appetite and maintain cravings for sweet food.
This could be because the body increases insulin secretion in anticipation that the sugar will appear in the blood. When this doesn’t happen, blood sugar drops and hunger increases. Whether this chain of events really take place is somewhat unclear (although something odd happened when I tested Pepsi Max). Nevertheless, artificial sweeteners can certainly maintain an addiction to sweets and lead to snack cravings. And the long term effects of consuming artificial sweeteners are unknown.
By the way, Stevia is marketed as a natural alternative to artificial sweeteners. That’s marketing talk. There is nothing natural about a processed super-sweet white powder like Stevia.
If you’re having trouble losing weight I suggest that you completely avoid sweeteners. As a bonus you’ll soon start to enjoy the natural sweetness of real food, once you’re no longer adapted to the overpowering artificial sweetness of junk food and “diet” sodas.
More: Read all posted tips on the How to Lose Weight-page.
Can artificial sweeteners from diet sodas affect your weight? My six hour experiment the other day implies that the answer might be yes.
The results can be seen above. I drank the Pepsi Max (17 oz.) after about an hour. The black line is the blood sugar and the purple line is the ketones. Continue Reading →
What happens if you drink Pepsi Max? Nothing if you believe the soda industry. Diet soda contain no calories, only artficial sweeteners (Aspartame and Acesulfam K in this case).
But when my friend Ronnie Mathiesen tested his blood sugar after drinking Pepsi Max it had a weird effect on his blood sugar (pictured above).
I’ve been planning to redo that test to see if I get a weird result too. Now is the time. And I will not only measure my blood sugar. As I’m in ketosis now I’ll also track my ketone levels closely. If artificial sweeteners result in release of insulin (studies show divergent results) the ketone levels should drop. Ketone production is very sensitive to insulin.
Ultimately this is not just about diet soda. It’s about whether common sweeteners (regardless of use) can somehow disrupt the regulation of blood sugar, insulin and thus mess with satiety, cravings and weight.
What do you think will happen to my blood sugar and ketone levels when I drink 500 ml (17 oz.) of Pepsi Max while fasting?
Stevia is a non-caloric sweetener that is relatively new on the international market. It originates in the leaves of a South American plant. Because of that it’s marketed as a “100% natural” alternative to other non-caloric sweeteners.
There’s been some discussion about how natural it really is, as it’s extracted from the leaves using different solvents and goes through further chemical processes before it emerges as a white sweet powder.
Personally I’m no fan of sweeteners, regardless of their origin. They tend to maintain an addiction to sweets. I’ve never seen Stevia as “natural”. It’s purified from leaves and thus it’s no more natural than snorting cocaine (which is also purified from leaves).
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