Over the last few years, an increasing number of questions have popped up regarding if artificial sweeteners are good or bad for your health in the long run. In particular, no matter what the labels say, can all of those sugar substitutes increase your risk of developing illnesses like diabetes?
Researchers are now finding that the question is a little more complicated than just saying that all artificial sweeteners have negative health effects. In fact, if you’re a generally healthy person, putting a little artificial sugar packet in your tea or coffee every morning may not put you at a higher risk of diabetes.
Do artificial sweeteners increase your risk of diabetes?
In short, it depends. A new two-week study had participants take the maximum recommended amount of saccharin, an artificial sweetener, every day, which is greater than the amount that the average person consumes on a regular basis. There was also a control group not taking saccharin.
After the two weeks were up, the subjects taking the saccharin didn’t experience any negative impact to their insulin levels or other indicators of potential issues that could lead to diabetes in the future.
That said, researchers did point out that their study focused on generally healthy people and didn’t include those who had underlying medical problems. For example, a person who’s prediabetic would maybe see different results if undergoing the same test. Additionally, the study only lasted for fourteen days, a relatively short period of time to see the affects of accumulation.
Are there other ways to lower the risk of diabetes?
Doctors and scientists alike say that there are plenty of simple steps to take to reduce the risk of diabetes. This includes eating a diet that limits your general sugar intake, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight over time without big fluctuations.
Additionally, there are plenty of small diet changes you can make to keep your insulin in check, like eating more fruits and foods that help balance blood sugar levels like peanuts. Still, it’s nice to know that a little artificial sweetener here and there may not hurt!