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The risk of switching from sugar to artificial sweetener

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FOR some time now, eating sugar-sweetened foods and beverages has been identified as the cause of overweight or even obesity, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Because of this, many health care experts have proposed that non-caloric, high-intensity sweeteners (such as saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose) provide, if not a beneficial alternative to sugar, at least a less damaging one.

Many people switched from regular soft drinks to ‘diet’ versions of the same and started checking the labels on other foods and beverages to make sure they were made with something other than sugar.

New evidence, however, seems to show that people who frequently consume sugar substitutes may also be at increased risk of excessive weight gain, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Within given age groups, the risk for coronary heart disease was significantly elevated in women who consumed more than two artificially-sweetened beverages per day or more than two sugar-sweetened beverages per day. Another study shows the risk of coronary heart disease was significantly elevated by both types of drinks.

Consuming at least one artificially-sweetened beverage daily significantly elevated risk for hypertension for women in a number of studies; the same effect was found when the women in the study drank sugar-sweetened beverages. Truth is, when it comes to artificially-sweetened  beverages, as few as one of these drinks per day may be, it is enough to significantly increase the risk for a number of health problems.

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