What about artificial sweeteners?

I’d like to give a post on artificial sweeteners, however, much of the evidence is wishy-washy and inconclusive. We will take a glance at some varieties, though, and studies performed on them. The pure Paleo’s of course frown upon anything artificial in their body, but I’m a realist and know that people are going to use sweeteners to satisfy their ‘sweet tooth’. So here is a guide to some different forms:

  • Aspartame (the blue stuff): In most studies done on the stuff there has been no evidence of it effecting insulin levels.
  • Saccharin (the pink stuff, why anyone would choose this sweetener is beyond me, yuck): this one has produced mixed and inconclusive results, but they generally say that it’s not going to make a big impact.
  • Stevia: there is growing evidence that it may be an insulin sensitizer that can aid in glucose tolerance and clearance after a meal. When compared to aspartame and sucrose eaters, stevia eaters had lower postprandial insulin levels. Summary: it may have therapeutic effects, may induce insulin secretion, but it increases insulin sensitivity, reduces blood glucose and does not increase appetite (thanks to Primal Mark for this).
  • Sugar Alcohols: doesn’t seem to raise blood sugars, but are hard on the stomach and can result in bloating, gas, and abdominal pain.

A lot of the information on sweeteners is subjective and there could be other side effects such as disturbances in gut flora or dependencies on sweets. Pretty much I’m going to stick with my usual advice, see how it’s affecting you (for some it may affect insulin or induce sweet cravings), but generally it is ok-in moderation. For more on our fat-burner programs check out our website at bodychange.net.

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