Are Artificial Sweeteners Bad For You?
A few years ago, I was drinking about 4 to 6 cans of diet soda on a daily basis. That was after I’d finished my 2 to 3 cups of fake, sweetener-laden coffee in the morning. I actually thought it was helping keep my weight in check, but the extra pounds only started coming off AFTER I ditched the diet soda and the fake stuff in my coffee.
I totally went cold turkey on the diet soda. I was away at a spa for the week, and there was none to be found. I was surprised that I didn’t miss it, and I truly had no desire to start drinking it again once access was restored.
Avoid artificial sweeteners. They make you crave more sweets! It took a little longer to stop artificially sweetening my coffee. It wasn’t until after I read about how fake sweeteners can actually make you crave other sweets MORE that I decided to ditch them all together. Yep, that’s right… artificial sweeteners can actually increase your desire to eat more cakes, cookies, and candies. Totally defeats your plan to slim down if you literally can’t keep your hand out of the cookie jar!
Go natural. I was able to start drinking my coffee with a little milk or half-n-half and no sweetener at all. Most people I tell this shudder at the thought of coffee without sweetener. I won’t lie to you. The first day or two, I did NOT like it! Around day three, it wasn’t that bad, and by the end of the week, I was back to enjoying my coffee just as I had when I used to load it up with sweetener. If you can’t stand the idea, try natural sweeteners, like agave nectar. Agave is SUPER sweet, so you only need a little bit. I’ll also use a little bit of raw sugar from time to time if I’m out meeting someone for tea or coffee.
Sugar vs. the fake stuff. If you are in a position where you have to choose between ordinary refined white sugar and a pink/blue/yellow packet, I say go for the real sugar. It is a way better choice than choosing something artificial (read chemical-based sweetener). You are looking at about 50 calories per tablespoon of sugar, so go easy!
In a rapidly changing health care landscape, Karen Morse is a leading Wellness Scientist who develops personalized wellness plans for women and writes a weekly blog, The Wellness Scientist, imparting cutting-edge solutions for healthy living.