Dr Oz: Hidden Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners
Are Artificial Sweeteners hiding some big secrets? The average person uses about 500 packets per year, and now Dr Oz said that research has found they are not living up to their promises. Find out about the aliases to watch for on labels and how these chemicals could be tricking your brain, hormones, and more.
Artificial Sweeteners and Sugar Substitutes can be linked to Diabetes and Heart Disease. Aspartame, Sucralose, and Saccharin are names foodies may know, but now food manufacturers are using nicknames so you may not know what you’re eating. What’s more, we now know some of the other health effects they could cause.
Dr Oz: Sugar Substitute Aliases
Which color of Artificial Sweetener do you reach for when it’s time for coffee or tea?
- Pink (Saccharin) – 300x sweeter than sugar; dates back to 1800s; made from petroleum
- Blue (Aspartame) – 200x sweeter than sugar; commonly found in diet soda beverages
- Yellow (Sucralose) – 600x sweeter than sugar; often mixed with fillers
Health warnings have driven sales down on products containing these Artificial Sweeteners. But now the products may be slipping into packaged foods under aliases. Dr Elizabeth Boham told Dr Oz that ingredients ending in “-ose” or “-tol” could indicate artificial sweeteners.
Also watch out for ingredients such as Acesulfame Potassium, Isomalt, Neotame, and Rebiana. “If you can’t understand or you can’t read an ingredient on a label, if you don’t know what it is, don’t eat it,” Dr Boham suggested.
Dr Oz: Artificial Sweetener Appetite Disruption
Artificial Sweeteners and Sugar Substitutes can also trick our brains and cause us to overeat. The outside area of the brain is rational, and the reptilian brain toward the center is easily manipulated by sugar.
The brain’s reward centers help to control appetite. The first bite is more pleasurable than subsequent bites of foods containing natural sugars, but artificial sweeteners do not work the same way. That’s why you could be gaining weight even if you have given up sugar.
Dr Oz: Sugar Substitutes Dull Taste Buds
Sugar Substitutes also work to dull the taste buds. Dr Oz used a xylophone to demonstrate how this can evolve over time. Since Artificial Sweeteners are so much stronger than sugar, they do not give us the satisfaction and experience of natural taste, making it harder to go back to regular sugar, because “you’ve actually numbed your taste buds with fake sweetness,” he said.
These Artificial Sweeteners also trick the gut by affecting taste receptors in the gut, which regulate hormones and work to manage blood sugar. This could cry wolf and waste hormones produced by the body. It could trick your body and eventually stop it from producing hormones, leading to Diabetes.
Artificial Sweeteners can also be made from Genetically Modified Organisms, such as Corn, Beets, and Soy. You might not have ever suspected that GMOs were in your Sugar Substitutes!
Dr Oz: Artificial Sweetener Step Down Plan
Dr Boham said that any damage from these products is reversible, but she recommends to all her patients that they stop consuming Artificial Sweeteners. Not all patients are able to quit cold turkey, so think about stepping down over time to reduce your consumption over a period of weeks.
“Your taste buds will adjust. Your body will get used to the new, natural taste in foods,” she said. Dr Oz said you are more likely to consume fewer calories if you are eating natural sugars.