Few of us are really aware of the dangers associated with all the numerous sugar substitutes available in the supermarkets. More common awareness is using “artificial sweeteners” to satisfy our “sweet” taste buds and at the same time reducing our caloric intake. But, how beneficial are these, if they are doing more harm than good to our health? Could these be hazardous to one’s health? If known to be harmful to the precious human body, would the choice still be to consume? Artificial sweeteners have been highly debated and scrutinized for decades. Realistically, who doesn’t like the taste of sugar? The majority of people use artificial sweeteners to reduce our calorie consumption; although, these are also used for the control of diabetes and other health issues. The thought of keeping ourselves at a healthy weight and eating our cake too, is more than appealing! Unfortunately, these sweeteners are not all they are cracked up to be. As a person working in the pharmaceutical world and around health education, I strongly believe the health risk associated with consuming artificial sweeteners far outweighs the alternative, consuming a smaller portion of natural sugars.
The link between weight gain and artificial sweeteners is a hot topic. According to new research at Purdue University, artificial sweeteners may interfere with the body’s natural way of counting calories. Associate professor, Susan Swithers, states, “Dietary factors that degrade the relationship between sweet tastes, food viscosity and calories may contribute to overeating and weight gain.” The process of digesting artificial sweeteners is quite simple, as the substance is consumed; the “sweet” receptors on the stomach and esophagus become aroused from the artificial sweetener. Once this arousal takes place, the pancreas releases insulin, which then causes chemicals to be sent to the brain’s satiety center (where satisfaction is felt.) This reaction then causes bodily confusion because...
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