An Epic Study on Artificial Sweeteners

(Central Florida Bob ) #1

There’s just so much wrong with this it’s hard to pick a place to start!

So many places reading that I thought “wait… someone paid you for this?”

For a longer look at the effects of artificial sweetener use, the experts turned to prospective cohort studies, which tracked health outcomes for at least two years to more than 30 years. Collectively, these studies found higher use of artificial sweeteners was linked to higher BMIs and a 76 percent higher incidence of obesity.

So you’re saying that people with higher BMIs or who are more obese are more likely to use artificial sweeteners?

It’s astoundingly bad.

(Brian) #2

It kinda lost me in the title where it said, “WHO guidance suggests”. I have zero faith and trust in anything the WHO has to say.

(Luza Hazel) #3

The incompetent WHO…

(Allie) #4



I meet this thing everywhere now. Article I get when I open a new tab on my tablet, radio…

Sweeteners aren’t even the same. And fat-loss is so complicated and I never cared about what works for people as I am quite different from the average person…
And my SO (he is the one avoiding sugar and eating sweets galore. my sweetener consumption plummeted when I made carnivore-ish my default woe. not like I ate a ton of it before) has way better reasons to avoid sugar than fat-loss though the latter is important for him too but sugar and sweetener has nothing to do with it.

I am all for avoiding sugar and sweetener alike :smiley: But when we aren’t there yet (even I am not but my sweetener/sugar days are quite rare), it may be better to eat keto sweets over sugar. Well I am very seriously against added sugar (a teeny-tiny may be better than getting stressed over avoiding some fav condiments or meat products. or pickles. the amount there is very, very tiny and my body handles it without any difficulties. I just do my best to avoid even that as I stubbornly hate added sugar. but if it would cause mental anguish, I rather eat 0.5g sugar. I do worse sometimes, sadly)… But still, we should look at the whole picture as much as we can, we obviously don’t have all the infos…

I always, always had weight problems (well, more like just extra fat as I almost never cared about it on high-carb and felt no problems) due to overeating fat caused by too much carbs, among other factors so of course sweeteners can’t help me :smiley: Hey, keto never helped me with that! And I do try to minimize my fat intake but it’s still too high. But it’s not about me now, sorry.

I can imagine that it makes things worse when silly people think they can go wild if it has no added sugar… And sweets often makes us want more sweets, I definitely experienced it a lot. It’s way better if the net carb is very low though :slight_smile: Or not, maybe carnivore changed me enough not to overdo my occasional keto sweets. And that is the rare case when I actually eat keto sweets instead of taking a bite of some nice dairy as my dessert. Of course, I don’t eat my sweets when hungry, that wouldn’t end well. I eat lots of meat and some eggs first :slight_smile:

I guess the majority of this forum is like that, with good reason.

(Brian) #6

Oh, that one pushes my buttons. I see it way too often.

We grow produce and sell at the farmers market. We produce a salable quantity of strawberries and often have them for sale through most of the growing season. What we don’t sell often ends up as strawberry jam, which we also sell if anyone wants it. It’s expensive but we make very little doing it. It just uses up strawberries that would go to waste. Anyway, the main ingredient is strawberries, by far. We do add some cane sugar but not like many do when they make such things.

When I look at ingredient labels of other people’s jellies n jams, I get kinda bent outta shape at them calling something “sugar-free” and then the first ingredient is something like “concentrated pear juice” or some other kind of what is obviously sugar. UUGGHH!!!

I’ve been considering trying to develop a really tasty form of strawberry jam that really does not use sugar, something that is truly diabetic friendly, but haven’t gotten there yet. Like some others, I am able to process small amounts of sugar without a problem even though I do try to avoid consuming much of it. So I’ll have a little of our jam from time to time and I honestly don’t feel too guilty about it. Do I do that every day? No. Do I smear it all over a half loaf of bread? No. Do I eat half the jar in one sitting? No. It’s not a “trigger” thing. Might be different if it was.

When we first went keto 5 or so years ago, we had keto treats at nearly every meal, sometimes keto treats for a meal. And that wasn’t a good thing. But that faded. We rarely do any of that anymore. The diet has gotten a lot more simple and less complicated. Some days are even carnivore, not because we’re gritting out teeth and trying really hard, no, that’s just where we happened to end up that day.

When we first went keto, I do remember that our lives were nearly consumed with food, what were we gonna have for the next meal. That’s faded, too. We’ve grown accustomed to our new set of ingredients and that pretty much revolves around what meat we’re gonna have. It’s not complicated and I like it that way. Some days it’s a matter of remembering to get a pack of ground beef out of the freezer so we can have some burgers for supper. Some days, we’ll get a roast out and pop that in the crock pot with some basic seasonings. And there is always bacon n eggs. :slight_smile: None of that is in any way “restrictive” to me. I feel like I’m “eatin’ like a king”! :slight_smile:

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #7

Somewhere around here there is a table of over a hundred euphemisms for sugar. “Evaporated cane juice” and “evaporated beet juice” are my favourites. That’s precisely what most commercially-sold sucrose is!

For me, too. I used to make a sort of milk chocolate with unsweetened chocolate, heavy cream, and an artificial sweetener. But I haven’t wanted that for years.

(Bob M) #8

Yes, that is an excellent example of crap-idemiology.

As with others, I agree that artificial sugars can be problematic, particularly if you’re addicted to sweets. Better to reduce sweetness, at least in the beginning.

I also think I have an issue with erythritol. If I have dark chocolate with sugar, no stomach issues; dark or light chocolate with erythritol, digestive issues. But that’s me, and has nothing to do with the study.


The first article re Diet Sodas brought to mind some recent instances at my work. As an asst mgr at a well-known drug store chain, we have Door Dash folks come in frequently picking orders for their customers. As they haul their load onto the conveyor, I often chuckle and remark about how the rich the irony is with their purchase- to which the Door Dash person then chuckles in agreement, and shakes their head. Last week, one fella had a 12-pack of DIET Coke, 2 large packs of Twizzlers, a couple Cadbury chocolate bars, plus Doritos, and other such garbage.
This type of purchase happens so often, not just with DD, but, many people. I think they honestly believe that by drinking diet sodas - they’re somehow cancelling out the sugar and calories of all the other crap they buy. Like, "Oh, I’m drinking DIET soda, so I can have this chocolate bar and bag of chips. "
They just don’t realize how much more satisfying and healthy a lovely, buttery omelette and cup of coffee with HWC is.

(Doug) #10

Nicely said, and right on.

Some decades back I had a boss, a very large man who’d been a weightlifter before getting obese. His lunch order was often ‘fast food’ - 3 large sandwiches, 2 large fries, “and a Diet Coke.” This was a subject of considerable mirth among us workers.

(Marianne) #11

Ugh, one more thing I have to wean myself off of! Seems like it never ends. Yes, I’m whining, but I don’t like plain water.

(KM) #12

I’m amazed at the difference a little lemon juice or even ACV makes. True, it’s not a yummy fizzy drink, but it’s still so much more palatable than plain water to me.

(KM) #13

Sugary beverages do add a ton of extra calories and sugar load to the diet of people who drink them. I can see the rationale for swapping out a few hundred calories of sugar for “nothing”. It’s a shame it doesn’t actually work.

I do wish these studies had differentiated between unprocessed natural low/no carb sweeteners like birch xylitol and stevia (in their natural state, not powders), and manufactured laboratory chemicals that happen to taste sweet.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #14

I drink Seltzer water. No carbs, no calories, but more interesting than plain water.

(Marianne) #15

Thank you. I gotta do something. I know artificial sweeteners aren’t good (but they sure taste good!), and I worry about the dye in them. I drink the red strawberry flavor. My poor liver. It’s always something.

(KM) #16

It is, isn’t it. :roll_eyes:

(Marianne) #17

Must be my addictive personality. I’m grateful for keto, though. I’ve been able to keep my weight loss stable for over four years and still love how we can eat.

(KM) #18

I agree, I’m always amazed and delighted with how many delicious things there are in the keto world! I just get so frustrated sometimes. At first it was with how many things were off my list, now it’s mostly with the feeling that everything I want to put in my mouth would have been readily available go-to food for an average family 100 years ago (pasture/range raised beef and dairy? Well sure, what other kind of cow-products are there?), and now I’m paying quadruple and it takes 2 hours to find what I’m looking for and I’m still never sure. “Grass fed”. I can see someone walking through a factory farm with a bucket of grass once a month. :laughing:

(Central Florida Bob ) #19

After months of experimentation, maybe even over a year, I’m honestly not sure if I have a problem with erythritol.

I first thought I had it a while back when I was doing three alternating fasting days a week I’d have a “big D” issue on fasting days. I thought it was from erythritol. Now I couldn’t tell you if it’s from erythritol or just a “regular irregularity”. I have three teaspoons of it a day. One in each of two cups of coffee and one in a cup of tea.

After months of alternating sweetening in coffee before bike riding and other things, I still get that way. My body seems to just be that way.


Good. I stopped buying jams way before keto because I want FRUIT but if I eat enough jam to get enough fruit, I get way too much sugar, it’s horrible.

But now, on low-carb since ages… I am completely unable to understand people’s obsession with adding a ton of sugar into an already very very very very sugary item. Strawberries often aren’t sweet and flavorful enough (this hit and miss is one reason it’s not one of my many favs) but people do it to very sweet fruits as well, it’s horrible.
I have a fruit garden and in the years not being this one (it’s a dark year :sob: diseases everywhere) I pressure can a lot of fruit. They are so, so much better not using anything but the fruit. Adding water and sugar is so crazy from my viewpoint. And jam recipes? As much added sugar as fruit, sometimes more. What. I want to take OUT sugar :smiley: But yeah, I am a veteran low-carber, I have changed. Still. The recipes are frightening.

I wouldn’t either. I eat my own fruits and jams too :wink: In moderation. Jams are tricky but the least sweet fruits work better.

It seems we have somewhat similar experiences. I have changed a lot since the beginning too. No wonder, it was vegetarian keto with sweets all the time to keep my carbs “low” and now it’s very close to carnivore on a proper day… Swapping vegs and oily seeds to meat helped tremendously. But I do keep my tiny extras. And taste my fruits. So much joy in so few carbs! And what if I use up my (non-existent but let’s suppose I have such a thing) carb allowance on a single piece of fruit? I can avoid all plants for the rest of my day and I won’t even feel I am missing out as it’s quite normal.
Not like I don’t get (sometimes quite much) carbs from my carni food but it doesn’t seem to matter a thing. I often say I don’t care about ketosis, I care about feeling right, being healthy. And it doesn’t seem that my animal sugars do something bad.

I am a bit torn regarding this as I get it and somewhat agree BUT it’s still better to eat 100g sugar instead of 200, isn’t it?
And if it’s just someone’s purchase, a single time, we can’t even possibly know if the same person will consume all things.
I can imagine someone preferring the taste of the diet coke. Why not? I saw worse. Like preferring the UHT flavor in milk. (I prefer freshly milked, warm, foamy milk, thank you. But I actually was lucky to try that out while the person in question was too far from such experiences.)
And while one may drink Coke for the coffein and taste, certain tempting, tasty chocolate bars are only available sugary. Of course one must buy that if they want the joy - but they can use their “as little sugar as possible” rule when it comes to Coke.
So I kind of understand this possible explanation.
I have no doubt that in general, people are more stupid and do things for less understandable reasons… But if it’s just a single case, I can’t know.
And again, less sugar is still better, even if we can’t say no to the chocolate.
If I lived in Australia (or wherever one can buy Timtams), I wouldn’t be this good (no, I eat my share of sugar. my tiny share but still way higher than ideal if you ask me and I keep working on its reduction). But after a packet of Timtam (that I never do anymore, it was the first time I got a ton of sweets from Australia), I would rather drink something non-sugary… It’s another matter than I would drink 2 liters of black coffee (I drink weak stuff :)) with the Timtams to handle the sweetness and I never was into sodas but it’s me, the normal person is different.

I actually feel sorry for people who miss certain relevations many of us here had.
Yes, we probably needed some time without (or just with a minimal amount of) added sugar to change, I surely did but I just had no idea of certain things before I went low-carb, researched, found and made recipes… I just followed the common things for the most part (I went against it here and there but sadly, I really enjoyed many commercial sweets and especially homemade cakes).
I believe tons of people would benefit to just try a lower-carb, (almost) no-sugar lifestyle for a while. But alas, most won’t do it for various reasons. It’s sad. It would work for many and they would even enjoy it…
Sometimes I look at my fabulous dessert and wonder why people buy stupid overprized useless sugary treats instead. I did the same and well, it’s experience to some extent but then, I just worked against my own body and mind. And I hadn’t even any idea :frowning: But eventually I got smarter and more knowledgeable. I was already open-minded enough and pretty resistant to listening most dietary advice. My problem wasn’t I feared good things, I loved good and bad things alike.

I have such phases. I do like water when thirsty and I am thirsty a lot but I still get bored of it.
Good thing I have carbonated water, tea and coffee (I plan to quit coffee but it doesn’t go well. I get better but super slowly. but it isn’t among my biggest problems so fine). Even lemonade sometimes (if you can call an unsweetened one like that. I totally do). My elderberries are flowering, I have mints too so I have options.
I still wonder about what else I could drink sometimes but thankfully I have a great relationship with pure water now. Oh, warm water is there too, it’s not like cold water :smiley: And I have egg milk and broth for hydration as well, in my eating window.

I hate the flavor of ACV myself but lemon is wonderful. My main fruit but my default woe is carnivore-ish so yeah.
I honestly hardly can imagine a tastier light drink than a little lemon with mint or elderberry flower in carbonated water… :smiley: Refreshing and nice.
(I wrote light as a creamy coffee or cocoa is tastier :wink: Even plain milk.)