More and more people are avoiding sugar and its multiple risks, seeking alternatives in daily foods. Minimizing sugar is an excellent way to take control of your health and support your body against the possible negative effects.
Taking control of your health also means being aware of the ingredients in your foods and how they affect your body. Although artificial sweeteners may provide a harmless alternative to sugar, it is important to consider how they may impact your health, including your blood sugar levels.
Here at Sweetkick, we want to provide you with all the information you need to know about the link between artificial sweeteners and your blood sugar.
What Are Artificial Sweeteners?
Artificial sweeteners are synthetic table sugar substitutes derived from various sources, including chemical or natural, like plants. Also called non-nutritive sweeteners, because they offer no nutritional value, these sweeteners are often used in processed foods. Some foods that often contain artificial sweeteners include:
- Soft drinks
- Baked goods
- Chewing gum
- Canned foods
- Jam and jelly spreads
Although they can be found in many premade foods at the grocery store, there are also many great uses for artificial sweeteners at home. You can use sweeteners in the place of sugar for baking, daily recipes, and your morning coffee or tea.
Why Should I Choose Artificial Sweeteners?
There are several popular reasons for choosing artificial sweeteners over natural sugar. One of the biggest reasons for choosing these sugar substitutes is that they are free from calories and carbohydrates, making weight loss easier.
Sugar is also associated with negative effects on the body, like high blood sugar, high body weight, and obesity, which is why some artificial sweeteners have developed a reputation as a good option for those with type 2 diabetes who need to pay close attention to their blood glucose levels.
Simple daily treats like a can of soda can be loaded with hundreds of calories just from a large amount of sugar, thus contributing to weight gain. Artificial sweeteners allow you to indulge in tasty foods and drinks with fewer calories and carbohydrates. Synthetic sweeteners are also very potent, so you need less of them to influence the taste of your food.
What Are the Most Popular Artificial Sweeteners?
Artificial sweeteners provide a sweet taste to foods and beverages despite containing zero grams of sugar. These five low-calorie sweeteners are approved for use by the FDA:
- Acesulfame potassium
Not on this list is another sweetener, stevia, which is often confused with an artificial sweetener instead of a natural one. Each sweetener comes from different sources, including naturally occurring amino acids, minerals, and oxidized chemicals. Sucralose is even derived from sugar.
Does Aspartame Raise Blood Sugar?
Aspartame is one of the most common artificial sweeteners and is 200 times sweeter than sugar. The sweetener was discovered and approved for use by the FDA in the 1980s. It is a common ingredient in treats like foods, diet sodas, and chewing gum. Aspartame is also used as a tabletop sweetener, making the foundation of some tabletop artificial sweeteners.
Even though aspartame is extremely sweet, it has anegligible effect on blood sugar levels. Much like other artificial sweeteners, aspartame contains no natural sugars or calories. As a result, it is often deemed safe for use as a sweetener, even for those with type 2 diabetes.
However, this sweetener is still controversial in many ways, and many people choose to avoid it. If you choose to consume products with aspartame, you should also be sure to check the label to ensure that there are no other unpreferred ingredients in the product. Talk to your doctor about whether or not aspartame is a good idea for you.
How Do Artificial Sweeteners Affect Blood Sugar Levels?
Aspartame does not greatly impact blood sugar, so how about other artificial sweetener options? It turns out that this synthetic sweetener is not an outlier, as most artificial sweeteners have little to no impact on blood sugar or insulin levels.
Blood sugar levels rise after the body takes in carbohydrates, which break down in the blood and become sugars. In response, the body produces insulin to help these sugars reach cells throughout the body.
Artificial sugar substitutes have no carbs, so they do not affect blood sugar or insulin levels in the short term. Although, the jury is still out because some preliminary research has suggested that these substitutes can cause changes in blood sugar levels with long-term use. However, this has yet to be confirmed.
Are There Risks for Artificial Sweeteners?
As with most seemingly great things, artificial sweeteners have some potential risks. Although there is still more research to be done, many artificial sweeteners are considered safe for regular intake. Although they do not have many documented direct negative effects on our bodies, they may have an indirect impact by negatively impacting our habits.
One of the concerns associated with sugar substitutes is that they may create a justification for choosing unhealthier options elsewhere. For example, some may opt for a sugar-packed candy bar later in the day because they drank a diet soda with a sugar substitute earlier, or others may eat more baked goods that are high in carbs just because they were made with an artificial sweetener.
Even if you bring down your sugar intake in some areas of your diet, you do not want to erase these benefits by overdoing it with sugar elsewhere.
If you want a tasty snack in the middle of the day, you do not need to reach for the sweets immediately. Instead, choose a snack like Sweetkick Clusters, made from healthy nuts, seeds, and superfoods, for an excellent dose of midday protein, fiber, and healthy fats. These plant-based snacks are great for a tasty midday pick-me-up without overdoing your sugar.
Another risk of non-nutritive sweeteners is that they can also impact how you taste food, as their high sweetness levels can overstimulate your tastebuds and sugar receptors. This overstimulation can affect how we taste other foods and turn us away from less sweet, healthier foods like nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. Artificial sweeteners may also have some addictive qualities.
Fortunately, other nutritious options won’t change your taste buds, like Sweetkick’s Macro Shakes, which are rich in protein, fiber, carbohydrates, and prebiotics with no sugar added. Enjoy a chocolate- or vanilla-flavored shake without becoming disinterested in the foods that boost your health, like fruits and vegetables.
Kick Your Need for Sweets
Sugar substitutes are a great way to reduce sugar intake without raising your blood glucose or insulin, but they may not always be the ideal choice when overdone. Sometimes it is best to quiet the sweet tooth for just a bit to help you avoid the cravings associated with sugar and artificial sweeteners.
If you are trying to reduce your sugar intake,Sweetkick is on your side and ready to help. Our Sugar Control Tablets block the taste of sugar for up to an hour, helping you control your cravings and build healthier habits. We also have various other products in our collection, like herbal teas and prebiotics, giving you various tools to beat your sugar cravings, maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and make healthier, more nutritious choices.
Aspartame: Should Individuals with Type II Diabetes be Taking it? | PubMed Central
Aspartame and Diabetes: Is It Safe? | Healthline