6. Impaired Glucose Tolerance
Artificial sweeteners may seem like a good choice for diabetic or pre-diabetic patients who need to avoid a high intake of dietary sugar. However, artificial sweeteners may alter the composition of bacterial flora in your gut and lead to glucose intolerance. The oral glucose tolerance test is a test that checks your blood sugar levels before and two hours after drinking a highly sweet test beverage. Normal blood sugar levels two hours after the test are less than 140 mg/dl. Prediabetes is defined as a blood sugar level between 140-199 mg/dl. Diabetes is diagnosed at blood sugar levels of 200 mg/dl or greater.
5. Decreased Gut Health
Artificial sweeteners have an impact on gut health. In addition to altering the healthy bacteria in your gut, they may linger in your intestinal tract. Additionally, sugar substitutes such as sorbitol or xylitol can cause diarrhea. These substances can trigger or aggravate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Consumption of products containing artificial sweeteners may tempt individuals to consume more of a food than they really need, relying on the idea they are consuming a low number of calories. However, overeating contributes to weight gain, bloating, acid reflux, and discomfort.
4. Increased Risk of Heart Disease
Artificial sweeteners may be linked to weight gain and obesity, which increase the risk of heart disease. Studies regarding the link between artificial sweeteners and obesity are conflicting. However, it may be wise to avoid relying on synthetic sweeteners as a means to lose weight and improve heart health. Proven methods of decreasing your risk of heart disease include implementing a program of appropriate exercise and nutritious eating. Including leafy greens and naturally sweet, antioxidant-packed fruits will go a long way toward improving heart health.