Food Is Not Your Enemy


Artificial Sweeteners Are Making You Sick and Fat

“Artificial sweeteners may disrupt the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, causing metabolic changes that can be a precursor to diabetes, researchers are reporting.”

So began a recent article in The New York Times that delved into why it may not be the best idea to recommend artificial sweeteners as a way to help prevent and/or manage diabetes.

The researchers, using mice and then humans in their experiments, found that Sweet’N Low, Splenda, and Equal all altered the population of bacteria in the digestive system. And this altered “microbiome” then led to changes in the metabolism of glucose—the test subjects’ blood sugar rose higher after eating and decreased more slowly than it did prior to the introduction of the artificial sweeteners into their system. After only one week, the mice given the sweeteners developed a “marked intolerance to glucose,” which is the precursor to such conditions as metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes. When the scientists gave the mice antibiotics to kill much of the bacteria in their digestive systems, their glucose intolerance disappeared.

More and more research is demonstrating just how important our gut bacteria is. The right mix of bacteria leads to a stronger immune system and better digestion, for instance, while the wrong bacteria can lead to illness and obesity.

To help the good bacteria proliferate in your gut, move away from not just artificial sweeteners but also sugar, poor-quality fats, junk food, and chemical additives to food; and eat more fermented foods like plain yogurt or kefir, veggies (green veggies in particular), fruits, healthy fats, lean protein, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Your intestines—and your whole body—will thank you.

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