When the average person thinks of the health risks associated with food and drinks, they will likely think of things like sugar, fat, unhealthy ingredients, and sodium. But what many people don’t know is that artificial sweeteners can also pose potential health risks and should be consumed with caution.
Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin are often used as a substitute for sugar, as they are many times sweeter than regular table sugar, yet contain virtually no calories. However, while artificial sweeteners may appear to be a healthier option than sugar, research has found that these artificial sweeteners may have some hidden health risks.
For starters, the use of artificial sweeteners can lead to an increased risk of weight gain. Although the sweeteners themselves have no calories, studies have shown that those who consume them are more likely to gain weight than those who consume a diet without them. This is likely because those that consume artificial sweeteners tend to underestimate the amount of calories they consume since they often fail to account for the calories consumed in other foods or drinks that contain artificial sweeteners.
Additionally, research has found that artificial sweeteners may also increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In one such study, individuals who regularly consumed artificial sweeteners were found to have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who did not. This is due to the fact that artificial sweeteners can alter the body’s ability to effectively regulate blood sugar levels.
Finally, artificial sweeteners have been linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancers. Although the evidence is inconclusive and more research is needed, several studies have found that regular consumption of artificial sweeteners may be linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancers including bladder cancer and kidney cancer.
Overall, while artificial sweeteners may appear to be a healthier alternative to sugar, it is important to be aware of the potential hidden health risks associated with them. If you are going to consume artificial sweeteners, it is best to do so in moderation and to be mindful of the potential health risks that come with overconsumption.