It’s no secret that large amounts of sugar are a big no-no. So, if you’ve switched out your daily dose of glucose with an artificial sweetener, you’re not alone.
But does sugar free really mean harm free?
Any product with “sugar free” or “zero calories” written across a label is appealing to consumers. We pick it up at the store, and are generally proud of ourselves for making the “healthy” choice, so we feel as though we deserve a reward: real sugar. This decision can either be conscious or subconscious. You eat a sugar free cookie, so you decide to reward yourself with a regular coke, which has a reverse effect on the number of calories you intended to intake in the first place.
Humans associate sugar free with healthy; this is far from true.
According to Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity and weight-loss specialist at Harvard-affiliated Boston Children’s Hospital, artificial sweeteners are not only changing how we eat, but also what we crave. They are 100 times sweeter than any natural sweetener, so when we use fake sugar regularly we grow accustom to the taste and it causes our body to crave larger amounts of sugar. An apple or banana no longer tastes sweet because it only contains natural glucose, and not the fake stuff that we are accustomed to.
So all-in-all, maybe real sugar isn’t too bad after all.