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A very recent study (1) showed that consumption of a carbonated beverage with sweeteners has no effect on Insulin Sensitivity and Secretion in Nondiabetic Adults. For every study like this there seems to be equal fearmongering, self-reported anecdotes and associative studies promoting an anti-sweetener and anti-sweetness agenda. How many studies will it take for people to realize that focusing on non-nutritive sweeteners is most likely a wild goose chase that further leads to the creation of newer sweeteners with the claims that it's superior to the previous generation of sweeteners.
The study was a double blind and randomized crossover trial with 50 finishing participants where nondiabetic adults, either overweight or nonoverweight, consumed carbonated beverages with aspartame and Acesulfame K for 12 weeks. At the end of the study they found no significant effect on insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion, body weight, dietary consumption and physical activity.
In other words, these people had the luxury of consuming sweetened beverages every day and had no specific issues with it. This study is fantastic as it practically isolates JUST the sweetener on its own as the intervention.
Food and nutrition are more complicated than demonizing one specific ingredient and calling it a day. That's just lazy finger pointing and may show knee-jerk-I-hate-everything-that-is-made-by-man reaction. Linking a plethora of associative studies that don't show causation isn't the way to go either. Most sweeteners are relatively inert towards the body though an argument can be made that certain sweeteners may have an edge over the other or may be more ketotic. Also, since when has anyone consumed sweeteners in spoonfuls as is? They normally come with flavorings and food textures to create a specific food item. That food item, in combination with other food items, create the ultimate storm(crunchy, salty, sweet, spicy, melt-in-your-mouth) of overconsumption. Focusing on sweeteners is like looking at the elephant in the room and stating that the tail of the elephant is the biggest problem.
What are your goals? Is it fat loss, optimal health, nutritional ketosis or gaining muscle? In most of your journeys(unless your goal is to avoid sweeteners like the plague of Egypt for god knows what reason!), a sweetener in the form of a sweet food item can be incorprated smartly into the diet of most people to maintain adherence and experiencing the sweet flavor and sensation. The body has interesting mechanisms from limiting caloric overload from At Ketogeek, we love to use sweeteners in our products and enjoy the vast array of sweet, salty and spicy foods while attaining our goals. Do sweeteners help you in your goals too? Let us know in the comments below!
Fahad is the founder of Ketogeek and hosts the Ketogeek Podcast, a world class health show about food, nutrition and health. He is into resistance training, Ashtanga yoga, calisthenics and various forms of training styles. Armed with a idealistic goals distilled in a world of realism, his goal is to help the world make a better place. He leads a life of extreme generalism or as he describes it, 'The Renaissance Lifestyle'.
“It never ceases to amaze me how prosaic, pedestrian, unimaginative people can persistently pontificate about classical grammatical structure as though it's fucking rocket science. These must be the same people who hate Picasso, because he couldn't keep the paint inside the lines and the colors never matched the numbers.”
― Abbe Diaz