“Low calorie” sweeteners damage the gut microbiome causing obesity, new research says

“Low calorie” sweeteners damage the gut microbiome causing obesity, new research says
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(NaturalHealth365) In case you were looking for even more incentive to curb your sweet tooth, new research shows that artificial sweeteners and the “low calorie” sweetener stevia found in certain foods and beverages can impair gut health and increase the risk for weight gain.

Ironic isn’t it – that the food industry’s “healthy” marketing claims about “low calorie” foods could likely be one of the world’s most insidious obesity risk factors!

Warning to consumers: Choosing foods made with an artificial sweetener INCREASE the risk of obesity and gut dysfunction

A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Gut looked at how low-dose maternal consumption of stevia and aspartame (a popular calorie-free artificial sweeteners) affect mom and baby health in animal models.  The researchers found that the offspring of rodent mothers who consumed these sweeteners during pregnancy had a greater amount of body fat, impaired glucose control, and unhealthy alterations in gut bacteria despite never consuming any low-calorie sweeteners themselves.

Poor gut health is linked to obesity risk as well as other major considerations including immune dysfunction and depressed mood.

It’s shocking, to say the least.  These sweeteners are supposedly “safe” for women to consume while pregnant, but we have growing evidence to suggest that these substances – which can be as much as 500 times sweeter than real sugar – can increase the risk of health problems in not only the individuals who consume them, but potentially in their unsuspecting children!

This is consistent with earlier research, including a 2017 paper published in Current Gastroenterology Reports. The authors of this study concluded that low calorie sweeteners “change the host microbiome, lead to decreased satiety, and alter glucose homeostasis, and are associated with increased caloric consumption and weight gain.”

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Ditch the sugar and artificial sweetener cravings with these 7 simple strategies

As humans, we’re hardwired to love sweet things. And thanks to food manufacturers tinkering with artificial sweetener ingredients, resisting the super-sweet taste of processed foods can seem nearly impossible for some of us.

But breaking your addiction to sugar and sugar-like substances can do wonders for your physical and mental health. Ready to kick your sweet tooth to the curb?

Keep these simple hacks handy:

  1. Add lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to your water – and drink lots of clean water, in general.
  2. Avoid or eliminate processed foods – this may take some willpower initially, but over time it gets easier as your palate (and brain) adjusts
  3. Stock up on fruit. As your body gets used to being free of super-sweet Frankenfood, things like berries and citrus will naturally start to taste sweeter and more rewarding!  Plus, unlike most artificially sweetened things, fruit contains fiber and many other nutrients that boost gut health and help you lose excess pounds.
  4. Eat a proper portion of clean protein and healthy fats to keep you satiated.
  5. Eat magnesium-rich foods, including leafy greens and nuts.
  6. Keep to regular mealtimes and avoid letting yourself get too hungry, as this may weaken your ability to resist the sweet stuff.
  7. Remember your why: Whether you want to lose excess weight, improve your skin health, ease chronic joint pain, or simply feel more in control of your food choices, there are plenty of wonderful reasons to cut back on the sugar, artificial or otherwise. Write down your goals and review them daily to help you stay focused and on track.

Sources for this article include:

Eurekalert.org
NIH.gov
Independent.co.uk
Heathline.com
BMJ.com