If you’ve been reading my blog you are most likely aware I’m not a fan of non-nutritive or fake sweeteners. Whether it’s saccharin (Sweet and Low), aspartame (Nutrasweet), or sucralose (Splenda) they are all at least 300-500 times sweeter than sugar.
You may think you are tricking your body, but the body is smart – it knows what you are ingesting is fake and can trigger more cravings for a real treat or even more food.
Last week researchers from Washington University Hospital in St. Louis measured the insulin levels of study participants when drinking just water, or sucralose which is Splenda.
They were surprised that insulin levels of the subjects rose 20% higher when consuming Splenda over consumption of water.
What does this mean?
Imagine you are drinking a diet soda and nothing else. You think of it as just a beverage with 0 calories and no effect on your system, which is unfortunately not the case.
When insulin levels rise 3 things can happen:
- It can set up your body to store more fat the next time you eat
- It can lower your blood sugar and trigger hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- It can tell your body you are going to eat and when nothing comes you are prompted to eat a meal or snack over the normal amount of food you consume
What’s the take home message?
There is no free lunch. Having fake sweeteners in your beverages, or packets added to drinks or food is going to have an effect on your metabolism and weight, not to mention the endotoxins, which can affect your brain.
If you want something sweet, add cinnamon or a shake of cocoa to your am coffee, or 1 teaspoon of honey to your tea. Your body will recognize it as real and satisfy the sweet craving without triggering too much insulin release, which is splendid for the weight and health.