Unveiling the Truth


Non-sugar sweeteners (NSS) are marketed as a sugar-free, weight-loss option and are becoming more popular in an era when regular sugar is regarded as a "Sweet Poison." They provide a breath of fresh air for people anxious about embracing a “sugar-free” lifestyle, while still wanting to control their weight without sacrificing the pleasures of sugar consumption.

So, why does the World Health Organization (WHO) advise against using NSS for weight control?


In a recent statement on its official website, WHO has expressed growing concerns about the increasing use of NSS as a perceived healthier alternative to sugar. A systematic review of available evidence indicates that the use of NSS does not provide any long-term benefits. On the contrary, it reveals potential undesirable effects including increased risk of type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and mortality in adults. "Replacing sugar with NSS does not help control weight in the long term," 1 said Francesco Branca, WHO Director for Nutrition and Food Safety.

Hands forming a heart shape around the gut


Impact on Gut Health - Studies have shown that NSS may have an influence on the composition and diversity of gut microbiota.2 These artificial sweeteners can disrupt the delicate balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut, potentially leading to adverse effects on digestion, nutrient absorption, and overall gut health.

Potential for Overconsumption - Prepare for a plot twist! Instead of curbing your appetite, NSS might actually make you hungrier. It's like a sneaky villain disguised as a friend, leading you astray. The sweetness of NSS can be very much higher than that of sucrose and desensitize the taste buds over time, leading to a higher preference for intensely sweet flavours. This can potentially result in overconsumption of sweet foods and beverages, which may in turn contribute to excessive calorie intake and potential weight gain.

Mind Games - Psychology plays a major role in weight control. If these NSS are the top of the solution that has toyed with your mind as the ideal ingredient in weight control, then you're stuck in a cycle of seeking immediate gratification without addressing the root causes of weight gain. Now is the time to break away from such illusions and focus on long-term sustainable solutions and lifestyle change.

In conclusion, the journey through the world of non-sugar sweeteners might be full of twists and turns, but the destination is clear. These NSS may not be the weight loss heroes they were once hailed to be. From unsatisfying taste to disrupted metabolism, increased cravings, and potential health risks, NSS has lost the sparkle in the realm of effective weight control. So, step off the rollercoaster and focus on a balanced diet, mindful eating, and behavioural changes to conquer your weight management goals. Your taste buds and waistline will thank you for it!

1. "WHO advises not to use non-sugar sweeteners for weight control in newly released guideline.” World Health Organization, 15 May 2023, https://www.who.int/news/item/15-05-2023-who-advises-not-to-use-non-sugar-sweeteners-for-weight-control-in-newly-released-guideline

2. Ruiz-Ojeda, F. J., Plaza-Díaz, J., Sáez-Lara, M. J., & Gil, A. (2019). Effects of Sweeteners on the Gut Microbiota: A Review of Experimental Studies and Clinical Trials. Advances in Nutrition, 10(Suppl 1), S31. https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmy037

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