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Sweeteners have become quite a problem in today's food industry.

The Problem With Sweeteners

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The WHO’s new view on sugar-free sweeteners

The WHO has released a report offering guidance regards the use of sugar-free sweeteners as part of a weight-loss effort.

In a nutshell, the guidance is: don’t

They make for interesting reading, so if you don’t have time now, you might want to just quickly open and bookmark them for later!

Some salient bits and pieces:

Besides that some sweeteners can cause gastro-intestinal problems, a big problem is desensitization:

Because many sugar substitutes are many times (in some cases, hundreds of times) sweeter than sugar, this leads to other sweet foods tasting more bland, causing people to crave sweeter and sweeter foods for the same satisfaction level.

You can imagine how that’s not a spiral that’s good for the health!

The WHO recommendation applies to artificial and naturally-occurring non-sugar sweeteners, including:

  • Acesulfame K
  • Advantame
  • Aspartame
  • Cyclamates
  • Neotame
  • Saccharin
  • Stevia

Sucralose and erythritol, by the way, technically are sugars, just not “that kind of sugar” so they didn’t make the list of non-sugar sweeteners.

That said, a recent study did find that erythritol was linked to a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, and early death, so it may not be an amazing sweetener either:

Read: The artificial sweetener erythritol and cardiovascular event risk

Want to know a good way of staying healthy in the context of sweeteners?

Just get used to using less. Your taste buds will adapt, and you’ll get just as much pleasure as before, from progressively less sweetening agent.

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