Are artificial sweeteners (sucralose) bad for you?
This is a question that sparks much controversy in the health and fitness industry, so we thought it was only right to get the facts together for you so that you can better understand the ingredient that is found in so many of our foods today.
There are several artificial sweeteners (sucralose) on the market today. They include Splenda, Sweet N' Low, etc. We are sure you've heard of them. Sucralose is a scientifically modified version of sugar, that can be up to 650x as sweet as regular sugar. Some of the products you can find sucralose in include soda, baked goods, and supplements.
As time has gone on, studies on studies have came out proving that these sweeteners can be harmful to your health and this is the exact reason we chose not to use them in our protein coffee powder.
Now let's get to exactly what is so harmful about this sweetener.
First, sucralose can increase your insulin and glucose levels. This is ironic, because so many people use this sweetener to achieve the opposite. A study found that sucralose increased insulin and glucose levels in addition to decreasing insulin sensitivity. For those with diabetes, this can have a strong negative effect and make it difficult to regulate blood glucose levels.
Sucralose can become toxic when used for cooking. Artificial sweeteners, as the ones we previously mentioned, boast about how great they are for cooking/baking because they can reduce calories. Research has begun to show, that when Splenda is heated it degrades and releases harmful chloropropanols. Chloropropanols are toxic chemical compounds and some research suggests they may lead to cancer and infertility in men.
Sucralose can harm gut health. Interest in gut health has become more popular in recent years, and rightfully so. Bacteria often gets a bad rep, but not in this case. The good bacteria in our gut helps improve immune function, digestion, and can reduce the risk of several diseases.
In one study on rats, researchers found that sucralose had negative effects on good bacteria. Rats that consumed sucralose had 48-81% fewer anaerobes (bacteria that doesn't require oxygen) in their gut.
Good bacteria, including lactobacili and bifidobacteria were reduced enormously and the bad bacteria was less affected. In addition, several months post study, the good bacteria had still not returned to normal levels.
This topic is something that is still being heavily researched, but that does not mean that we should ignore the potential short/long-term negative health effects of this sweetener that have already started to surface.
As your parents probably told you growing up, "If you have to question it or have any doubt, go with your gut and stay away from it".
There are plenty of natural alternatives for sweeteners, so we are giving you the same advice we follow. Try to do things as clean and naturally as possible!