Plenty of research has pointed to fake sweeteners as the culprit in a variety of health issues, including nerve damage, certain types of cancer, and even anxiety or depression.
Sweeteners like Splenda or Equal have also been attributed to weight-gain, which seems counterproductive – given that weight loss was the very purpose behind their creation.
The reason fake sugars or sugar substitutes don’t work very well as part of a diet plan is that your body doesn’t know how to differentiate real sugar from fake sugar. Sure, the chemical compounds are different but, when your mouth tastes something sweet, it signals the brain to prepare for an increase in insulin to regulate the soon-to-be-rush of sugar flooding the body’s system.
This is problematic because you do, in fact, experience what experts call “the sugar crash” even if you didn’t technically eat any sugar. This means you more than likely will be left feeling lethargic, hungry, and craving a new sugar rush – even if you had just been ingesting a sugar derivative.
If even ONE of the aforementioned side effects mentioned above wasn’t enough to dissuade you from incorporating sugar substitutes into your diet, consider how harmful it can be on our children: sugar substitutes are impacting our youth’s taste receptors and oral development.
Especially when it comes to kids, the food industry constantly pushes sweet tastes. Vitamins and medicines are sweet tastings, so your child will take them. Multi vitamins taste like what would happen if chalk and skittles had a baby. Hell, even TOOTHPASTE tastes like unicorn glitter (Seriously, it’s literally the only reason my kid will brush his teeth; he thinks he’s getting a second dessert.)
It doesn’t even really matter if something is actually GOOD for your little one or not – blueberry flavored matcha tea with Flaxseed can be just as harmful to your child’s developing taste buds as Lucky Charms – only because they both reinforce the pleasure senses to be heightened and rewarded once your child had tasted something sweet.
It’s difficult to break old habits, but it can be done. It’s also not to say that you can’t let your child eat sweet things – just be very cognizant that they are aware certain things aren’t meant to be sweet. There are a whole array of other tastes out there designed to be utilized and appreciated.
You can train and help develop the senses, but you cannot train the brain to know the difference between real sugar and fake sugar. Your body will respond the same way, regardless, which could lead to a dependency on sweet things as a whole.
And that’s something you want to nip in the butt as soon as you can.