When health experts told us we were eating too much sugar, industry had an answer for us: artificial sweeteners. All the sweetness (and then some!), none of the problems. Only it turned out there WERE problems.
Although they don’t directly affect our blood sugar, artificial sweeteners indirectly affect our ability to metabolize sugar. I review the latest research on this in this week’s Nutrition Diva podcast (below).
And even though artificial sweeteners don’t have any calories, they promote the growth of intestinal bacteria that are linked with obesity. (More on that in the second episode below.)
When artificial sweeteners started to seem like a bad idea, industry had an answer for us: natural non-caloric sweeteners like stevia and monkfruit. (See also: Is stevia an artificial sweetener?)
And although they don’t seem to cause as many problems as the artificial sweeteners, they still encourage us to eat sweet foods and beverages–to the detriment of our overall diet quality. (That’s the topic of the third episode below.)
The real problem here is not that sugar is so bad for us. It’s that we want to eat it in quantities that are not good for us.
And the problem with noncaloric sweeteners (even the natural ones) is that we mistake them as a free pass to consume sweet foods and beverages in unlimited quantities. (See also: What’s a moderate amount for noncaloric sweeteners?)