Aunt Sue signals to the waiter to come hither. He obliges, very much aware of the fact that he has just been called like a pet dog. Once he approaches the table, she asks for a few “pinks” as she gently stirs her large glass of iced tea.
Moments later, you watch, mouth agape as Aunt Sue is pouring not one, not two, not three… but four Sweet’N Lows into her Iced Tea. She does her best to stir around the massive mound of granulated saccharin at the bottom of her glass before taking a long steady gulp. She exhales and then remarks, “Can you believe there’s not a single calorie in this?”
You think to yourself…
But at what cost?
Artificial sweeteners in the yellow, pink and blue packets are widely embraced by the folks who claim to be health conscious –– folks like Aunt Sue in the above story.
At face value, it makes sense. One can of soda has 140 calories, 39 grams of carbohydrates and 39 grams of sugar, while a diet soda boasts NO sugar & NO calories - amazing, right?!
Yet, ironically, many of the people we see who use artificial sweeteners like addicts could still stand to lose a few pounds. Why?
Advertising has sold all of us this idea that artificial sweeteners are a Godsend for individuals with a sweet tooth that still want a six-pack.
However, countless studies say otherwise, pointing to the fact that artificial sweeteners aren’t ideal for losing weight nor maintaining the health of our bodies as a whole.
In a San Antonio Heart Study, researchers found that individuals who drink 21 diet drinks per week are twice as likely to become overweight or even obese in comparison to individuals who don’t drink any diet drinks at all.
And, in another study researchers found that folks who drink diet sodas on a daily basis have a 67% increased rate of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
And yes, while 21 diet beverages a week might sound like an ungodly amount for anyone to put down, once you realize how addicting artificial sweeteners can be, it’s easier to believe. Some even say “3 a day keeps diabetes away” (okay, we may have made that one up!).
One experiment found that rats that were exposed to cocaine and then given the choice between cocaine and saccharin (one of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners) chose the latter. Let that set in - artificial sweeteners can be more addictive than cocaine.
But, while artificial sweeteners have been linked to obesity, diabetes and could potentially even be considered addicting… are they okay in moderation?
While most health-conscious individuals aren’t downing artificial sweeteners left and right, many of us are guilty of drinking the occasional Diet Coke. No, you aren’t going to spontaneously combust, but we would recommend looking at all natural sweeteners like Monk Fruit or Stevia… both of which can be found in Iconic Protein Drinks. They are subtly sweet and don’t come with the nasty chemically aftertaste that’s common in artificial sweeteners. Oh, and they aren’t linked to obesity or diabetes… which is a perk.