I stopped drinking soda four years ago. I don’t eat anything with high fructose corn syrup (an artificial sweetener). I won’t use agave syrup (which usually contains some HFCS too), stevia or any other artificial sweetener. Mostly because they violate Michael Pollan’s food rules.
But my adherance to “real” food over frankenfood and other things artificial seem to be on the right track.
“Researchers found that artificial sweeteners changed the composition of gut bacteria over time, which could explain why subjects became more glucose intolerant over time. Prolonged glucose intolerance leads to conditions like obesity and diabetes — the very things that people drinking diet sodas are trying to avoid.”
“We have an estimated 100 trillion bacteria in our intestines, and they help us digest our food. But they don’t just help break down our food; emerging research like Elinav’s links imbalances in gut bacteria to conditions like obesity, Type 1 diabetes, celiac disease and Crohn’s disease, just to name a few.
It could be that the key to managing or even preventing such illnesses is catering to that bacteria, and in the case of obesity and diabetes, that could mean avoiding artificial sweeteners.
“Artificial sweeteners were extensively introduced into our diets with the intention of reducing caloric intake and normalizing blood glucose levels without compromising the human ‘sweet tooth,'” write the study authors. “Our findings suggest that [artificial sweeteners] may have directly contributed to enhancing the exact epidemic that they themselves were intended to fight.”
Of course, this study doesn’t mean that plunging headfirst into drinks with real sugar in them are any healthier — the American Diabetes Association recommends avoiding sugary drinks like sweet tea, juice, soda and sports drinks altogether in order to prevent diabetes.”
This is why I’ve switched to seltzer water. I get the fizz of soda but it’s really just water.