Nutrition and Healing
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  • Nothing sweet about sham sugars

    You’re thirsty for a can of sweet, fizzy soda… but you know that guzzling all that sugar isn’t doing your body any favors.

    So, you reach for a diet soda, thinking you’ve found the perfect compromise — a way to appease your taste buds while sidestepping a glut of calories AND a dangerous blood sugar spike.

    But before you crack open that can, think again — because the only thing you’ll be “compromising” by choosing an artificially sweetened drink is your health.

    We already know that regularly consuming sugar substitutes like sucralose (a.k.a. Splenda) and aspartame can raise your risk of cancer.

    And according to a new study, these fake sugars won’t even protect you from a blood sugar spike — because they can actually make your blood sugar go HAYWIRE.

    In the study out of Australia, 27 healthy people were randomly assigned to take capsules packed with artificial sweeteners — either sucralose (found in Diet Pepsi) or acesulfame potassium (found in Coke Zero Sugar) — or a placebo three times a day before meals.

    The sweetener capsules packed in about the same amount of fake sugars as you’d get from drinking one and a half large sodas daily.

    After two weeks, it turned out that those who took the artificial sweeteners saw significant changes in the body’s ability to control its blood sugar levels.

    Now, it’s normal for your blood sugar to rise somewhat after you eat a meal (in what we call a “postprandial” glucose spike). But for those in the sweetener group, their blood sugar SHOT UP in an EXAGGERATED way.

    Compare that to those in the placebo group, who didn’t experience any changes in their bodies’ blood sugar responses.

    We don’t know exactly how artificial sweeteners can send your blood sugar soaring — but we do know that having those big spikes is what paves the way to type 2 diabetes.

    So, don’t be taken in by diet soda marketing that promises zip, zero, and zilch in the way of sugar — because these drinks could be just as bad for your pancreas as gulping down one of those “regular” sodas sweetened with a boatload of high-fructose corn syrup.

    It’s best to ditch soda ENTIRELY — and there are a lot of easy swaps that can scratch the soda itch.

    If you need a pick-me-up, try a cup of plain coffee or tea, hot or iced. You’ll get a jolt of caffeine along with a slew of other health benefits.

    If it’s bubbles you’re after, try some plain seltzer water or carbonated water flavored with fruit essences.

    As for combating thirst, there’s nothing better than a glass of cool water!

    And watch out for these sham sugars in everything from yogurt to salad dressings to condiments, too.

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