If you’ve considered sugar substitutes as a means to combat your cravings and eventually help control your weight, think again. With obesity being declared a global epidemic, it’s no wonder the food industry offers multiple sugar substitute products to keep sales up. But consuming substitutes, such as saccharin and aspartame, which can be found in carbonated soft drinks, chewing gum, dessert boxes yogurt cups, and even some over-the-counter medicines and cough syrups offers a bigger threat and significant contributor to the increase in global obesity.
Studies have shown that substitutes, such as saccharin, work its way to gut microbiome bacteria that are essential for a healthy digestive system. Without the proper function of gut bacteria, a person’s metabolism is negatively affected leading to metabolic disorder. While artificial sweeteners may not directly be absorbed by our bodies, they are being absorbed by our gut bacteria, which in turn affect the way these bacteria function in our intestines leading to weight gain and a resistance to gluten breakdown.
Up to 30% per serving is being absorbed by the body; an alarmingly high quantity given that sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sugar. Should you still opt for a sweetener to replace polished sugar, sucralose is probably your best bet.
There is hope yet. Studies on the subject of sugar-free products versus regular sugar and its effects are ongoing, but for now we know what needs to be done. With controlled diet, and eliminating the consumption of sugar substitutes, we should be able to help assist our gut microbiomes back to their normal state. A thorough reassessment of the vast usage of sugar alternatives is needed and re-examination and publication of proper finding is necessary to help shed some light on obesity.