Diet Sweeteners - No Help to Health


Sweeteners Cause Type 2 Diabetes


The sweet taste of sugar gives such instant pleasurable sensations to most people it is not surprising it is also one the  things people find hardest to stop when trying to decrease weight and generally improve health.


Biggest mistake made when avoiding sugar

Perhaps the biggest mistake made with attempts to avoid the sugar is to switch to low calorie or calorie free sweeteners. However, studies have shown these sweeteners can in fact cause some of same health problems as sugars.


Perhaps the most prevalent cause of type 2 diabetes is a high sugar, high refined carbohydrate diet.


Diet drinks increase the risk for diabetes.

A seven year long study of over 2,000 people found diet drinks increased the risk for diabetes despite the drinks having no calories[ 1].


Artificial sweetener causes increased blood sugar

Another study tested the diet no calorie sweetener called sucralose on peolple who were obese and did not previously use sucralose and found it increased both blood sugar levels and insulin [2]. High blood sugar levels and the consequent strain on the body to produce more insulin can lead to type 2 diabestes.


Large Fluctuations in blood sugar levels trigger excessive eating

Both too high and too low blood sugar levels are a problem. Low blood sugar can trigger cravings for food, and sweet food in particular. When the blood sugar is low people want to eat to bring blood sugar levels up to normal levels. The tendancy is to seek out sweet food for a quick fix. 


Artificial sweeteners trigger excessive eating

The brain is not fooled by artificial sweeteners; it can recognise when the sweet taste comes from sugar and when it does not. Sugar stimulates nerves related to satisfaction so decreases the desire for more sweetness, artificial sweeteners do not active the same nerves in the brain, so you are more likely to want more food [3].


Artificial sweeteners trigger depression

Depression can be triggered by a high sugar diet, however, once again sugar substitutes are not the answer. Diet soft drinks increased the chances of depression even more than the non-diet versions[ 4].


Fizzy Drinks, Fractures and weak bones

Diet fizzy or carbonated drinks as well as the sugar variety, take important minerals out of your bones, so the bones become weaker making you more likely to get osteoporosis and fractures [5].  


Educate your body to avoid sweet tastes

The bottom line is that to really help your health you need to re-educate your body away from a sweet taste. So avoid all sweet tasting foods. A "rule of thumb" is to avoid anything sweeter than a fresh raw apple. If you want to check labels look at the ingredients section - sugar, syrup, malt, honey and any word ending with the letters "ose", for example fructose, sucrose etc. are sugar). This means - no biscuits, no cakes, no fruity yoghurt, no milo, no sweets, no dried fruit, no honey (keep honey in your medicine cupboard to only use as a medicine), no maple syrup, and no fruit juice (unless homemade). Take care to have no more than 2-3 pieces of fresh fruit daily. 


If you crave sugars you may be deficient in minerals or high quality fats

If you find you are craving sugars you may be low in important minerals such as Magnesium [6, 7],  and Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF), or Chromium [8]. Or you may not be getting enough high quality fats in your food e.g. omega 3 PUFA [5]. When taking supplements I recommend the Entire Katoa Food State Supplements for the best absorption and bioavailability.


The most healing and nutritious drink.

You may also be tired or dehydrated. If so sit down with a big glass of water, it really is the most healing and nutritious drink.



Contact Bay Health Clinic today to find out more or to book a consultation with one of our Naturopaths; if needed they will also prepare tailored herbal medicines and recommend supplements to help you feel your best.  Call 07 571 3226 or email us:




1.       Sakurai M, Nakamura K, Miura K, Takamura T, Yoshita K, Nagasawa SY, Morikawa Y, Ishizaki M, Kido T, Naruse Y et al: Sugar-sweetened beverage and diet soda consumption and the 7-year risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus in middle-aged Japanese men. European Journal of Nutrition 2013:1-8. 

2.       Pepino MY, Tiemann CD, Patterson BW, Wice BM, Klein S: Sucralose Affects Glycemic and Hormonal Responses to an Oral Glucose Load. Diabetes Care 2013

3.       Frank GK, Oberndorfer TA, Simmons AN, Paulus MP, Fudge JL, Yang TT, Kaye WH: Sucrose activates human taste pathways differently from artificial sweetener. Neuroimage 2008, 39(4):1559-1569. .

4.       Chen H, Guo X, Park Y, Freedman N, Shinha R, Hollenbeck A, Blair A: Sweetened-Beverages, Coffee, and Tea in Relation to Depression among Older US Adults Neurology 2013, Neurology (80 (1_MeetingAbstracts)):1001 - 112005.

5.       Libuda L, Alexy U, Remer T, Stehle P, Schoenau E, Kersting M: Association between long-term consumption of soft drinks and variables of bone modeling and remodeling in a sample of healthy German children and adolescents. Am J Clin Nutr 2008, 88(6):1670-1677. 

6.       Nielsen FH, Milne DB, Klevay LM, Gallagher S, Johnson L: Dietary Magnesium Deficiency Induces Heart Rhythm Changes, Impairs Glucose Tolerance, and Decreases Serum Cholesterol in Post Menopausal Women. J Am Coll Nutr 2007, 26(2):121-32

7.       Chambers EC, Heshka S, Gallagher D, Wang J, Pi-Sunyer FX, Pierson RN, Jr.: Serum Magnesium and Type-2 Diabetes in African Americans and Hispanics: A New York Cohort. J Am Coll Nutr 2006, 25(6):509-513. 

8.       Cefalu WT, Hu FB: Role of Chromium in Human Health and in Diabetes. Diabetes Care 2004, 27(11):2741-2751