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Artificial Sweeteners; The Lowdown by Dan Price

Artificial Sweeteners; The Lowdown by Dan Price

Hi friends, you probably came from my Instagram.
Firstly, kudos to you for exactly wanting to know more about the research around sweeteners.

I asked no BS nutrition coach Dan Price to share the latest research around sweeteners with us - and hopefully bust some myths so you can make informed choices.

Here he is...


 

Do artificial sweeteners cause cancer?

There is no evidence to suggest they do. 

Cancer.gov provides a comprehensive list of artificial sweeteners and the reasons why the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) view them as safe to consume. It also discusses a little about where notion that sweeteners may be cancer causing originated from (rat studies) and why this evidence is not applicable to Humans. See full list: Cancer.gov 
 


What about heart disease and stroke?

The short answer again is no. But here’s a little more info if you’re interested. 

You may have seen sensationalist headlines last year such as this one:  Massive 10-Year Study Has Linked Diet Soda To Heart Attacks And Stroke 

The problem with this 10 year study was that it was completely terrible. 60,000 women were surveyed and split into groups based on how often they drank diet soda. 10 years later they checked in on these women and counted up instances of stroke and heart disease amongst the groups. It turned out those drinking 2 cans of diet soda a day had 8.5% chance of heart related diseases, while those drinking none had just 7.2%. 

What these articles conveniently forget to mention is all the other variables outside of diet soda that may have brought about this result. For example the study itself mentioned that the people who drank more diet soda BEGAN the study more overweight, with higher blood pressure and were more likely to be smokers than the group drinking less diet soda.

Being overweight, smoking and having high blood pressure increases likelihood of heart related disease. Overweight people in this study tended to drink more diet soda (maybe because they were overweight.) 

Wearing sun glasses doesn’t make it sunny. Diet soda doesn’t cause heart disease.

 

Do diet drinks cause weight-gain?

No, weight gain requires you to be eating more calories than your are expending. However, if you find you can’t open a Diet Coke without having a Mars Bar as well, this could lead to weight gain. 

 

What can cause disease?

Obesity increases the risk of 4 of the top five causes of premature death in the UK: cancer, heart disease, stroke and liver disease. See the full list from the NHS Website 

If you are obese, decreasing your calorie intake is likely the healthiest lifestyle choice you can make. 

 

The take home

While swapping sugary drinks for water would be ideal, this may be an unrealistic jump for many people. If you are trying to lose weight and are used to drinking lots of fizzy drinks, making the change to a diet drink will be a sensible solution to reduce calorie in take, and reduce your risk of obesity and it’s related diseases.


“substituting low calorie sweetener options for their regular-calorie versions results in a modest weight loss and may be a useful dietary tool to improve compliance with weight-loss or weight-maintenance plans.” Miller, et al (2014)


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