Artificial sweeteners are additives to food and drinks that make them taste sweet, without adding to the sugar or calorie content. From diet soda to protein bars, you can find these sweeteners in just about anything labeled as “sugar free”, “diet” or even “low carb”.
If you consume these only rarely, you might not notice much of a difference. However, for people who consume products with artificial sweeteners regularly, they might notice some of the following changes.
Your Sense of Taste May Become Dulled
Have you noticed that your taste buds have changed, or the intensity of flavors have dulled over time? This might actually be the result of an over consumption of artificial sweeteners. Some of the this is due to the fact that many of these sweeteners are many times sweeter than naturally occurring sweeteners.
You begin accustomed to the sweeter taste of artificial, processed sweeteners, and over time, start losing the desire for naturally-occurring sugars. But the good news is that if you start reducing how much artificial sweetener is in your diet, and begin consuming natural sources of sweeteners, your normal tastes can return.
Try incorporating more sugar substitutes like stevia, monk fruit, or honey into your diet, and cut back on the ‘sugar-free’ and diet options.
Craving May Actually Intensify With Artificial Sweetener Usage
One of the most dangerous effects caused by artificial sweeteners is that they have the ability to stimulate pleasure centers in your brain. Under normal circumstances, these pleasure centers eventually reach a point where they become satisfied and you stop eating or drinking, but with the presence of artificial sweeteners, satisfaction is often arrested completely or simply delayed if the consumer is fortunate. The end result is almost always intense cravings that cause people to over indulge in foods and drinks, and that is contrary to what they had been trying to achieve the entire time.
Gut Problems Might Arise
Some studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can also have negative effects on your gut health. For example, even though sweeteners are considered safe, you might develop a glucose intolerance form the sweeteners. They can also add to digestive distress like stomach cramps, nausea, and other issues with your digestive system.
If you notice that you have a stomach ache when you drink a diet beverage, it might be from the sweeteners used, as opposed to the other ingredients.
It can be challenging to kick a habit of diet soda or sugar-free gum, as a majority of diet or low-calorie products contain aspartame. If you can slowly cut back and replace the habit with a healthier alternative, your body will thank you in the long run.