Artificial Sweeteners like Sucralose, Aspartame, and Splenda are minimally absorbed. Although adding artificial sweeteners to your diet might not directly help you lose weight, substituting these fake sugars for real sugar can result in some weight loss.
A new pattern or method of weight loss makes its way to the internet every other day. Since unhealthy weight gain is on the rise as people are leading a sedentary lifestyle owing to the ongoing pandemic, it is only reasonable that they look for a weight loss method that does not leave them feeling bland and tired.
One such method of weight loss is the use of artificial sweeteners that are a famous replacement for the common table sugar.
There are several types of artificial sweeteners being used in many food industries and they are believed to be efficient in causing weight loss.
What is an Artificial Sweetener?
An artificial sweetener is essentially an alternative to the typical table sugar found at home. These sugar substitutes are sweeter than sugar, however, their calorie content is much lower in comparison.
These artificial sweeteners are used by people who are looking for an easy way to lose weight. Also, people who are diabetics choose to add any artificial sweetener to their diets to have a sweet taste.
Examples of Artificial Sweeteners
With the rise in the usage and demand of artificial sweeteners, more and more companies are coming up with a new type of artificial sweetener. Here is a list of some famous ones.
- Acesulfame-K is a well-known artificial sweetener used in many food products including ice creams, dairy products, desserts, baked goods, beverages, etc. This sugar substitute has been known to be genotoxic.
- Saccharin is another sugar alternative that is possibly 200 to 700 times sweeter than sugar. It is approved by FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and used in fruit juices and other beverages.
- Sucralose is typically found as Splenda and utilized in food products. This option is almost 600 times sweeter than sugar
- Neotame is approved by the FDA and is almost 7000 to 13000 times sweeter than natural sugar. It is used in food products except for poultry and meat.
- Aspartame is probably the most famous one on the list. Commonly used in diet sodas, gums, sugar-free ice creams, etc. And almost 200 times intensely sweet as compared to table sugar.
- Advantame becomes another sugar substitute that is approved by the FDA and is currently being used in frostings, non-alcoholic beverages, candies, gums, etc. In regards to being sweeter than sugar, it is 20000 times more intense.
Artificial Sweeteners and Weight Loss:
Currently, the use of table sugar leads to quick and unhealthy weight gain. The reason behind this is the composition of this natural sugar as it is very dense in calories even in small amounts. So, owing to this calorie-rich content it makes you gain some pounds at a rapid rate.
But we know that sugar consumption is mainly done for the delicious taste that it provides. So, cutting sugar off completely can be quite a challenge for some people as nobody likes to consume a diet that tastes dull.
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Therefore, it is only reasonable that people use an alternative. Swapping sugar-filled products with one that has an artificial sweetener as an ingredient can prove to be better for the problem at hand.
Artificial sweeteners have little to no calories, so their use in food products will not lead to any weight gain as they do not contribute to any intake of energy. In this way, one can enjoy food items that taste good and easily follow a weight loss plan.
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The research focused on low-calorie sweeteners and body weight and composition, it included 15 randomized controlled trials and 9 prospective cohort studies, the findings showed the association between modest weight loss and low-calorie sweeteners.
This proved that low-calorie sweeteners can be used for weight loss and following a weight maintenance program. [Ref]
These artificial sweeteners can be used in your typical sweet dishes. There is a good variety of products that can be made using sugar substitutes like Splenda, including sugar-free brownies, sugar-free pies, sugar-free peanut butter cookies, and many more.
Research has studied the influence of sugar-sweetened beverages as well as sugar-free beverages on body weight. This study included over 641 children who weighed normally and were divided into a sugar-free group and a sugar group.
Children in the sugar-free group were given an artificially sweetened beverage and children in the sugar group were given a similar beverage that contained natural sugar in it.
At the end of this 18 months-long study, it was discovered that there was a reduction in weight gain in the sugar-free group as compared to the sugar group. [Ref]
On another note, artificial sweeteners can be used by diabetics in attempts of losing weight as these substitutes are not carbohydrates so they will not be metabolized and increase blood glucose levels in the body like table sugar does. [Ref]
Overdosing on these sweeteners may not be recommended only because of the side effects associated with them in the long term.
Side Effects of Using Artificial Sweeteners for Weight Loss
Even though these alternatives are pretty famous and common in use, they are not natural and will definitely have some side effects associated with their overconsumption.
Such side effects may not be apparent in the beginning but eventually, they can cause significant effects on the health of its consumers.
Artificial Sweeteners and Gut Health
Artificial sweeteners have been known to cause massive damage to gut health by altering the microbial population in the gut.
This causes dysbiosis which can then cause bloating, gas, and other disorders of the gastrointestinal tract in the long term.
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Artificial Sweeteners and Weight Gain
The sole intention behind consuming artificial sweeteners is the desire to lose some extra pounds. However, this may not be the consequence in certain cases.
Rather individuals may observe weight gain. These substitutes are calorie deficient which may leave one feeling hungry and reaching for an extra snack.
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Other Side effects of Artificial Sweeteners:
Apart from the side effects stated above, these sugar substitutes can increase the risk of certain cancers, depression, and headaches.
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Artificial sweeteners may be beneficial when used for short durations in low doses. However, in animal studies, long-term use of artificial sweeteners resulted in liver disease manifesting as elevated liver enzymes, high triglyceride levels, and insulin resistance.
In addition, artificial sweeteners have been observed to have a strong addictive potential because of their high potency as sweeteners. In fact, they may be more addictive than cocaine.