How Artificial Sweeteners Affect Blood Sugar and Insulin

Insulin spikes are a common side effect of many drugs. Most people do not realize that it raises blood sugar too. When insulin is present in your body, it acts like a hormone. If you have diabetes or prediabetes, then your pancreas produces large amounts of insulin. Your body uses the excess glucose from food to produce more insulin so that the cells don’t overproduce glucose and die off due to lack of oxygen and nutrients. This causes high blood sugar. However, if you take insulin, then your body stops producing enough insulin to keep up with the amount of glucose being produced by your liver and muscles. Instead of using the excess glucose for energy, your body turns it into fat cells instead.

The problem with this is that when you eat something containing carbohydrates (such as bread), these carbs break down into simple sugars called glycogen. Glycogen is stored in your liver and muscle tissue.

When you exercise, your muscles use glycogen to provide energy for their work. Glucose is used by the brain and other organs. When you consume a carbohydrate-containing meal, the liver converts some of this glucose into fatty acids (which are stored in your fat cells). When you don’t consume a large amount of carbohydrates, your body converts some of its stored fat into fatty acids and sends these out through your blood (this is called fat oxidation).

The excess glucose that isn’t stored in the liver and muscles is stored as fat. This is why if you eat too many carbohydrates, then you are more likely to gain weight, especially around the midsection.

The solution is to minimize the amount of carbohydrates you eat. By cutting out the high-carb foods such as bread, potatoes, and pasta, you can significantly reduce your weight and increase your health. This is the basic concept of a low-carb diet. This type of diet lowers your blood sugar, reduces your inflammation levels, and helps you maintain a healthy weight.

Do Artificial Sweeteners Spike Insulin?

You might be wondering if artificial sweeteners are any better for you than regular sugar. The answer is that they aren’t metabolized by your body in the same way and don’t contain calories, but they do have some other not-so-great effects on your health. For example, a lot of research has been done on aspartame, which is one of the most popular artificial sweeteners on the market. According to some studies, this substance can cause an increase in insulin and a great number of side effects. Other research has shown that aspartame doesn’t raise insulin levels and that it is safe for human consumption in reasonable amounts.

There isn’t one correct answer to this question. Some research says that aspartame is a dangerous chemical that shouldn’t be consumed, while other research says the exact opposite.

So what’s the solution? Should you just go ahead and drink diet soda every once in a while if you want to indulge in something sweet?

This is a decision you have to make for yourself. Personally, I don’t see the point in consuming artificial sweeteners on a regular basis because of the controversy surrounding them, but if it allows you to adhere to a healthier diet then I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doing so. The main thing is you have to be aware of the controversy and then make an educated decision for yourself.

For now, at least, artificial sweeteners are considered safe by the FDA. Whether or not you choose to consume them is up to you.

Personally, I try to avoid them whenever possible, but I’m not going to stress over the occasional Diet Coke (which I only drink when I go out to eat anyway because I hate the taste and never keep it in the house).

Health Benefits of Low-Carb Eating

The most obvious benefit of a low-carb diet is that it helps you lose weight and keep it off. If you were trying to shed pounds anyway, then this alone makes the diet worthwhile.

Low-carb diets make it easy to eat lots of delicious food while still losing weight. You aren’t limited to some boring chicken, lettuce, and water diet.

You can eat steak, guacamole, and sour cream.

Carbohydrates are not essential for our bodies. We don’t need them to survive.

Our bodies actually do better without them because excess carbohydrates get converted into fat that gets stored in your body. By cutting out the carbs, you are automatically cutting down on your overall fat intake. You are also making your body work in a way that it wasn’t designed to, causing it to burn more calories than it would have otherwise.

The great thing about low-carb diets is that they are easy to stick to. Unlike with other diets you don’t have to give up foods you love.

Not only is sticking to the diet easy, it’s actually a lot of fun.

Who doesn’t like eating meat, cheese, and bacon?

Many people think that in order to lose weight they have to suffer, but this isn’t true. You can reduce your weight and improve your health without feeling deprived. On a low-carb diet you will feel more energetic, less sluggish, and find it easier to exercise than you did before.

The health benefits of low-carb eating aren’t just limited to weight loss either. In fact, there are a lot of other reasons why people choose to follow a low-carb diet.

Here are just a few:

Cholesterol levels go down

Blood pressure decreases

Reduction of the risk for type 2 diabetes

Decrease in the symptoms of epilepsy and other neurological disorders

There are also many professional health organizations that back these claims, including:

Even the American Diabetes Association has acknowledged the benefits of low-carb eating.

Personal experience and success

Many people in the media love to attack low-carb diets, claiming that they are unhealthy and don’t work. This is of course a load of nonsense.

They work very well, which is why so many people have had success with them.

I’ve personally had a lot of success with low-carb eating myself. I lost around 40 pounds over the course of a year by cutting out carbs.

Since then I’ve kept the weight off and feel better than ever.

I’m not the only one who has had success with low-carb eating either. It’s estimated that over 10% of people in the United States have lost weight following a low-carb diet.

Not all of those people will keep the weight off, but this is still a very large number. Clearly, it works.

The low-carb approach isn’t for everyone though. It doesn’t really work for athletes who need the energy from carbs.

It also isn’t great for people who are under a lot of stress, as this can lead to “rebound eating”. If you aren’t losing weight on a low-carb diet, then you may want to look into other alternatives.

However, for many people, low-carb is the way to go. It is a very effective way to lose weight and improve your overall health.

You don’t need to feel hungry or deprived. All in all, it’s a win-win situation.

If you want to give a low-carb diet a try, there are a lot of resources out there for you. You could go the Paleo route and eat lots of meat and vegetables, or you could go for something like the Atkin’s diet which is a bit more lenient.

Whichever way you decide to go, I hope you have success with it.

Are you on a low-carb diet? Have you had personal success with it?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

P.S.

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Tags: Diet & Weight Loss

Sources & references used in this article:

Artificial sweeteners produce the counterintuitive effect of inducing metabolic derangements by SE Swithers – Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2013 – Elsevier

The association between artificial sweeteners and obesity by M Pearlman, J Obert, L Casey – Current gastroenterology reports, 2017 – Springer

Artificial sweeteners have no effect on gastric emptying, glucagon-like peptide-1, or glycemia after oral glucose in healthy humans by T Wu, MJ Bound, SD Standfield, M Bellon… – Diabetes …, 2013 – Am Diabetes Assoc

Ingestion of diet soda before a glucose load augments glucagon-like peptide-1 secretion by RJ Brown, M Walter, KI Rother – Diabetes care, 2009 – Am Diabetes Assoc

Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota by J Suez, T Korem, D Zeevi, G Zilberman-Schapira… – Nature, 2014 – nature.com