We have been hearing for quite sometime that artificial sweeteners are bad for you but on September 18, 2014 news about a study done by Eran Elinav MD and Eran Segal PhD of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel spoke at a press conference held by the health magazine Nature.
Artificial Sweeteners Cause Weight Gain and Diabetes
It seems that the scientists have discovered that the very substances that dieters thought were helping them lose weight were doing the opposite. The research done suggested that artificial sweeteners including saccharin a.k.a. Sweet’N’Low, sucralose a.k.a. Splenda and aspartame a.k.a. Equal and Nutrasweet caused blood sugar levels to skyrocket in studies done in both humans and mice.
When mice were given artificially sweetened water over a period of weeks the ice became almost diabetic and their blood sugar levels were higher regardless of whether or not they were eating a high fat or low fat diet.
The reason human blood sugar rises when ingesting these substances is because these sweeteners have the effect of dramatically changing the microorganisms in the gut that help you absorb nutritional components from food. In addition, they found out that the suppression of these microorganisms in the human gut could also lead to compromised immune function and more susceptibility to illness in general. 
This is not just a matter of a substance affecting a few cells in the body. The microorganisms in your gut make up for about four pounds of your body weight and even more if you are overweight.
These findings really do beg the question of whether or not any human being should go near a packet of Splenda, Nutrasweet, Equal or Sweet’ N’ Low ever again.
What Is a Healthy Sweetener?
Thankfully people that are on a diet still have two healthy sweeteners to choose from that, like artificial sweeteners, have a zero calorie count.
The first type of sweetener is Stevia that is made from the leaves of a plant that has 300 times the sweetness of sugar but unfortunately is also known for its metallic, bitter or licorice –like aftertaste. However, there is one brand of Stevia called Truvia, available in most Loblaws stores in Canada that seems to have remedied this problem. There is no aftertaste as is the case with other types of stevia.
Another recommended sweetener that is actually healthy for your gums, tooth enamel, the middle ear and digestive health is xylitol, which is technically a poly aclohol or sugar alcohol. It is roughly as sweet as sugar but has 33% fewer calories.
Both Stevia and Xylitol have been around for over a century and have been used as a safe substitute for sugar for diabetics and individuals with hyperglycemia. Neither Xylitol or Stevia has any known toxicity to human beings and both are considered safe in Europe, the U.S. and Canada.
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