Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, ACE K, and saccharin are starting to come under scrutiny by the FDA because of their side-effects. These side effects include
headaches and migraines, shrunken thymus glands, impaired liver and kidney function, and mood disorders.
We’re preaching to the choir here—just about everyone has heard at least rumors that artificial sweeteners aren’t healthy.
But what about natural sweeteners like agave?
The problem with agave
We can hear your gasps from here—what could possibly be wrong with agave nectar?
While agave syrup doesn’t spike your blood sugar quite as violently as plain sugar, it is far from healthy.
The reason it has a low glycemic index (aka, the reason it doesn’t spike your blood sugar) is because of its high fructose content. Fructose doesn’t raise blood sugar much because our bodies don’t metabolize it well.
All that fructose goes
directly to the liver, which means suppressed liver function and a higher risk of heart disease. Different studies have linked
high-fructose sweeteners to all kinds of health conditions—obesity, diabetes, high triglycerides, metabolic syndrome, and fatty liver, to name a few.
Splenda’s Not-So-Sunny Side
Splenda has been the leading zero-calorie sweetener for awhile now. Want to sweeten your coffee without all the calories? Just throw in a packet of Splenda.
But it may be time to re-think that.
The theory behind
touting Sucralose (Splenda) as a healthy sweetener was that, since it passes through our GI tracts undigested, it should have little effect on our bodies.
However, new research published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B: Critical Reviews revealed that Sucralose actually does get metabolized.
As that process unfolds, Splenda wreaks all kinds of havoc, including…
- Reducing our “good” gut bacteria, which can contribute to weight gain and obesity
- Limiting the absorption of therapeutic drugs, making your meds less effective
- Releasing chloroproanols during decomposition, which could be toxic
- Contributing to inflammatory bowel disease and even gene alteration
That puts things into perspective, for sure—just because something has no calories doesn’t make it healthy!
The truth about high-fructose corn syrcup
Here’s another one that will come as a surprise to no one: high-fructose corn syrup is not a good addition to our diets. But why?
The “high-fructose” part is the biggest issue. This tends to contribute to leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone in our bodies that suppresses appetite. This means that over time, as you consume more and more high-fructose corn syrup, your body will stop recognizing its natural “I’m full” signals. This leads to exacerbated weight gain.