Can artificial sweeteners affect your health even though they have “0 calories”?

So what is the deal with artificial sweeteners?

I cannot stress enough how important the quality of what we put into our body is when it comes to our metabolism, gene function and overall health.

Almost everything we eat has the potential to alter the microbes in our gut, where more than 70% of our immune system is situated.

While Aspartame and other synthetic sweeteners may not have any calories, it’s important to remember that there are far more contributors to weight gain and disease than just calories in excess.

Some (not-so) surprising contributors to weight gain and disease?

1. Gut dysbiosis (when the bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract becomes unbalanced)

2. Inadequate sleep

3. Chronic stress

4. Nutrient deficiencies

5. Toxic overload

While there is prominent research on artificial sweeteners and their affect on our overall health – I take a very practical approach to health, and I believe the healthiest diet shouldn’t focus on restriction – but rather consistency and sustainability.

Will one diet soda cause you to have gut dysbiosis, if you’re consistently eating well? Probably not. Just like eating a salad is not going to make you the epitome of health, if you’re consistently eating poorly.

My advice:

Focus on leading a healthier lifestyle where you are consistently making smarter choices and upgrading your nutrition when possible. If you are consuming artificial sweeteners in excess and are finding that you are feeling off – I would recommend the good old process of elimination, and see how much better you feel limiting them. When it comes to sweeteners – I personally recommend pure stevia extract, or simply using raw honey, pure maple syrup or coconut palm sugar.

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