Artificial sweeteners. They’re everywhere. Pink and blue and yellow packets can be found in with the sugar packets on the restaurant table. Low calorie foods contain artificial sweeteners to keep you from packing on the pounds. Diet sodas and other low calorie drinks are loaded with artificial sweeteners.
There’s so much information out there about artificial sweeteners. Some reports say that they cause health problems. Others say they still cause an insulin response and can lead you to continue to crave sweet things rather than satisfying your craving. Still others indicate that artificial sweeteners can cause your body to store fat.
I’m not a biologist. I don’t know if any of this is true. A few years ago, I gave up my daily Diet Coke in favor of sparkling water from my SodaStream. I’m sure you’re thinking I’m going to talk about the major difference I felt in my health. I can’t say I noticed anything huge, but I’m probably better hydrated and I don’t miss the Diet Coke. I still have one from time to time for the caffeine kick, but I’m starting to think that maybe avoiding the artificial sweeteners might be the way to go, especially since I do notice that when I have something sweet, I continue to crave sweetness.
Some people swear by Stevia because it’s natural. Again, I can’t tell from the information out there whether or not it’s actually a good substitute for sugar. So if I NEED sweeteners, I’m going for the real thing – sugar and honey. But since those are higher calorie, it’s only going to be in serious moderation.
I’m going to experiment with other foods and see if I can tell if artificial sweeteners are affecting me. It’s never bad to be reading labels. I’m going to swap my yogurt for plain yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit tossed in. I’m going to read labels on granola bars and cereals. I don’t plan to be perfect about this, but I think it will be an interesting experiment.
Have you given up artificial sweeteners? Have you noticed a difference in your health?