The downside of non-sugar sweeteners

Ever since we expanded control of our surroundings by standing on two legs to gorge on the sweet fruits that lit up our pleasure centres we’ve become hooked on sweet foods.  Today we are besieged by a smorgasbord of sugar-laded enticements most of them unnatural and unhealthy which has lead to burgeoning obesity, heart disease and a host of other maladies.  We’ve sought in part to combat this disease-promoting addiction with non-sugar sweeteners which still allows us to indulge our cravings with substitutes that we hope will wreak less metabolic and constitutional havoc.

 Unfortunately after conducting a research review the World Health Organisation has released new guidelines indicating that non-sugar sweeteners do not promote weight loss in the long-term and might even increase hunger in those accustomed to the central nervous system hit that only real sugar can provide.  What’s even more damning is the evidence which reveals that consuming non-sugar sweeteners over the long haul is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and mortality.  While it’s possible that those who indulge in this type of behaviour are already overweight, itself a risk factor for these sorts of disease, it is also feasible that these type of sugar replacements can disturb the gut microbiome or adversely tamper with blood sugar control.

The WHO therefore recommends that we moderate our desire for sweet foods by limiting our exposure earlier in life, a bit late for us, and drinking mostly water and unsweetened coffee or tea, maybe a more achievable goal.

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