Sugar substitutes are sweet deceivers. Fake sugar comes with the promise of all the sweetness of real sugar without any of the calories or consequences. If it sounds too good to be true it usually is. Artificial sugars advertise that they will help you lose weight because you are reducing your caloric intake with the substitutes. This clever advertisement may fool you, but it does not fool your body. Fake sugar tricks people and their brains into believing that it is real sugar. Your body still gains weight because your body responds the same way to fake sugar that it does to real sugar. Real sugar stores fat on your body, and so do sugar substitutes.
Artificial sugars actually cause you to store fat. The artificial sugar molecule is so crafty that it convinces the brain that it is real sugar. The body releases insulin to help metabolize the artificial sugar. Since there is no real sugar present, the excess insulin with nothing to do, performs its evolutionary task, which is signal the body to store fat.
The taste buds, sensing the fake sugar, signal the brain to prep the digestive system to gear up for a large caloric intake. When the expected sugar jolt (extra calories) fails to materialize, the body has a hard time regulating appetite when other food is available. People will eat more and expend less energy than they would have if they had eaten the real thing. Authors Susan Swithers, PhD, and Terry Davidson, PhD summarized that by breaking the connection between a sweet sensation and high caloric food, the use of saccharin (artificial sweetener) changes the body’s ability to regulate intake. The change depends on experience. Problems with self-regulation might explain in part why obesity has risen in parallel with artificial sweeteners.
The most popular artificial sugar is aspartame (NutraSweet and Equal). Aspartame is a neurotoxin, which is exactly what it sounds like: a toxic agent that inhibits, damages, or destroys the tissues of the nervous system. Aspartame metabolizes in the body as methanol (alcohol) this creates formaldehyde (a known carcinogen). Neurotoxins also affect neurological function.
The best sugar alternative is raw organic honey and natural fruit. Organic honey is a healthier option. It contains natural calories so use portion control when consuming it. When your body craves fruit or sugar be mindful that you may be thirsty. Try drinking 8 ounces of water first to see if it helps dissipate cravings.