Artificial Sweeteners for Diabetes | Why you should reduce it?

Are you diabetic?
Do you feel that incorporating artificial sweeteners are healthy for your body?

Or let me reframe the question.
Do you feel that these sweeteners are harmless for your health?

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If the answer is yes, then sorry to disappoint you that such is not the case.
These products are harmful and cause silent damage if you are taking it on a regular basis.

Sure these products are great and offer lots of promises in their ads, right from reducing your weight to managing your blood sugar.

In fact, I have met diabetics, who are using these products extensively.
When I told them to not to use these artificial sweeteners; there comes the reply that ” these products help us to satisfy our sweet tooth; these are low in carb and cause no harm”

Sure, these products are low in carbohydrate and may not raise your blood sugar much, but there is a possibility of other complication which may arise by regularly using it.

In this article, we will try to understand what exactly are the artificial sweeteners and how they can pose danger to our health if taken on daily basis.

Artificial Sweeteners and Diabetes

Artificial Sweeteners and Diabetes

What are Artificial Sweeteners?
These products are basically considered as sugar substitutes, that is meant to help people lose weight and control blood sugar.
While most of the processed food contains artificial sweeteners as an ingredient, you can also buy them easily in raw form for your homemade dishes.

Basically, there are two forms of sweeteners available in the market, each one has different property and can be used according to the need:

1. Sugar Alcohols( Reduced Calorie Sweeteners)
They are not exactly calorie-free, they contain half the amount of sugar calories in it. So eating them will raise your blood sugar but not as much as the normal ones.
Isomalt, sorbitol and maltitol are its other popular names and can be easily found as the ingredient of sugar-free products.
2. Artificial Sweeteners
As the name suggests, these sweeteners are artificially produced in the lab.
They contain no calories and may not raise your blood sugar.

Some of the examples of commonly known artificial sweeteners are:
a. Saccharin
b.Aspartame (commonly found in diet cold drinks)
c. Advantame (used in baked goods, frozen desserts, jams and jellies, processed foods, syrups etc


How to judge if the food contains artificial sweeteners?
Whenever you buy the product, try to read the ingredient column, you may find following description

a. No Sugar/ Sugar-Free
These products do not contain any natural sugar.
But during the processing of food item, the manufacturer may have added sugar alcohol or artificial sweeteners for taste

b. No added sugar
It means that no artificial sweeteners were added to the product while processing.
But it doesn’t mean that it does not contain any carbohydrates, the product may contain natural sugar which will raise your blood sugar.

For example
Consider a Marie biscuit.
When you read the contents it shows “No added sugar” (hence no artificial sugar is added into the biscuit)
But biscuits are made up of wheat, which is full of natural carbohydrates, so it will raise the blood sugar if eaten.

So every time you visit any grocery store, make a point to check the product’s carb content before buying any product, this will give you an idea that if the product will spike your blood sugar or not.


Problems with Artificial Sweeteners
As i have said earlier, these sweeteners are not completely harmless. Hence care should be taken before incorporating into your daily life.
Here I am going to list the potential side-effects of artificial sweeteners, that will make you more aware and will guide you to make an informed decision in future.

a. Disturbs your Taste Buds
Though artificial sweeteners have fewer amounts of carbohydrates/calories, but they are hell lot of sweeter than the natural sugar, Even a small pinch of these products can make your food exorbitantly sweet.

These extra sweet products do a great job in disturbing your taste buds. Taking these products on daily basis will limit your tolerance for more complex taste, that means that you will find other foods unappealing.You may find other items less pleasant to eat and crave these sugary foods more.

To understand simply, the artificial sweeteners disturbs the way we taste food and can completely change our eating habits
Read about foods that don’t raise your blood sugar 

b. Depression

In a study, it was found that those who drink more than 4 can of diet soda or any other artificial beverage has 30 % higher risk of depression.
Depression is more common of a problem nowadays; high aspirations, increased monetary pressure, pressure for social recognition, and stressful jobs, people are more likely to get into the clutches of depression.
It’s been estimated that around 4.4% of people are suffering from depressive disorders and the condition is just getting worse.


c. Diabetes and Obesity
Its been found that artificial sweeteners can increase your weight and also makes you susceptible to diabetes.
In a research, it was found that these sweeteners can make your sugar control haywire and can ultimately cause Type 2 diabetes to a normal individual.
Read about Type 2 diabetes in detail

However, there has been a lot of doubt among the research community about the subject, but u think the better thing to do is to limit our intake and don’t get completely dependent on it for our sugar needs.

d.Confuses guts
When you taste these super sweet products, our tongue sends signal to the gut to get prepared to metabolize extra calories. But in reality, that sweet taste has no calorie at all.
This confuses out gut, as it already got prepared for the extra calories, which will never come. This gut confusion disturbs the body metabolism and disturbs its functioning.
Hence depending on artificial signals disturbs the hunger cycle of the body and change our eating pattern

So what should I do?

The first thing you should do is to reduce the intake of artificial sweeteners. If you are taking it on daily basis, you may find it difficult to eliminate it in one go.
One thing you can do is to start limiting the amount and then reducing it till you completely remove it from your diet.

You may face sugar cravings that gets difficult to control.
In order to reduce that, take lemon juice or a cup of sugarless black coffee, these foods will reduce your urge to eat sugar

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Further Read
Find if you are Type 1 or Type 2 diabetic
can Diabetes affect your memory
Can diabetics eat dates

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