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Are Sugar Substitutes OK?

We had a recent question about sweeteners in the “Sugar and Flour Buster’s Society” Facebook group… When someone asks a really good question like this I do give an answer but I often like to go to the podcast and give a more thorough answer, and discuss the science behind my answer. 
I get this question ALL the TIME - are artificial sweeteners OK? Can I use them? 

The truth is, it’s hard to give a black and white answer on this one. I would never say “Use all you want,” and I’d never say “Absolutely NOT!”. 

So the purpose of this podcast is to educate you about artificial sweeteners, and then you can make your own decision about whether you want to use them - or not - and if so, what kind and how much. Enjoy!


Episode Highlights:

(11:05) There's evidence that if you replace sugar-sweetened beverages like Coke, for example, with Diet Coke or Coke Zero, people will lose weight and have an easier time keeping it off. So the thinking here is that if you're someone who drinks, let's say six 12 ounce cans of Coke a day, in this case, using a non-nutritive sweetener, an “NNS”, makes a lot of sense because you're not getting all those calories, you're not getting all that sugar, and I can pretty much guarantee that when you stop doing that, you’ll lose weight!

(13:58) In terms of research on problems with sweeteners, there's other evidence, and this is from a 2014 study out of Israel and a 2018 study out of Australia that showed that sweeteners can kill the good bacteria in our gut, it's called the microbiome. So science is really coming to understand the importance of a well-balanced microbiome in our gut and how important it is that the different types of gut bacteria are in balance. 

( 24:44) Here's what I think; definitely do not drink sugar-sweetened beverages ever. If you have to have soda, drink diet soda, but I would be super careful with sweeteners. We just still don't have enough information about their safety and their long-term effects.


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