weight loss

Do artificial sweeteners affect glucose levels? – HealthifyMe

Written by hana

Artificial sweeteners, as their name suggests, are synthetically produced chemicals that are alternatives to sugar. They are used in foods to add sweetness without increasing the number of calories. Non-nutritive sweeteners and low-calorie sweeteners are other names for it. To reduce sugar or calories in the diet, a person chooses artificial sweeteners as an alternative to sugar.

Artificial sweeteners are artificial sugar substitutes that increase the taste and pleasure of food. It is safe to use if you follow the recommended amount. Additionally, artificial sweeteners can increase the nutritional value of the diet while encouraging lower energy intake. They can make the taste of drinks, desserts and food preparations more attractive.

Your blood glucose, or blood sugar levels, rise from the foods you eat. This is because your body converts most foods into glucose, which circulates in your bloodstream as you digest them. Therefore, glucose becomes your energy source, and any glucose that is not used immediately is stored in the cells.

High blood sugar levels

Regularly high blood sugar levels for an extended period of time can lead to many health conditions. Blood sugar levels that are higher than normal are a critical characteristic of type 2 diabetes. The more you understand how food affects your blood sugar, the better you can defend against diabetes. Knowing how food affects your blood sugar levels is critical if you have diabetes.

When you consume foods that contain carbohydrates, your blood sugar levels rise. These foods can include rice, bread, pasta, sweets, potatoes, tapioca, and other starchy foods. Blood sugar levels rise from digestion when carbohydrates are broken down into glucose to be absorbed into the bloodstream.

HealthifyPro 2.0 enables you to use nutrition science and technology as the best of both worlds. In addition, coaches evaluate you to understand what is best for you to manage your blood glucose levels. The BIOS, a wearable device based on continuous glucose monitoring, can help you monitor your body’s response to different foods by recording your blood glucose levels in real time.

The big question is, do artificial sweeteners affect glucose levels? This article provides an overview of artificial sweeteners and how they affect blood glucose and overall health.

HealthifyMe Note

Some believe that individuals can consume these artificial sweeteners without fear of harming their health. In contrast, others believe that even one use can be harmful. In this case, it is safe to say that consuming artificial and natural sweeteners in moderation is completely safe.

Types of artificial sweeteners

The most common types of artificial sweeteners include:

  • acesulfame
  • aspartame
  • cyclamate
  • saccharin
  • sorbitol

Do artificial sweeteners affect your glucose levels?

Research indicates that artificial sweeteners have primarily replaced other sugars and, paradoxically, have a detrimental effect on blood sugar levels. When these artificial sweeteners are consumed, the pancreas releases insulin, which the body interprets as glucose due to its sweet flavour. Thus, it raises insulin levels in the bloodstream, which eventually leads to decreased activation of the receptors.

Artificial sweeteners are known to be sweeter than sugar. This is why a small amount of artificial sweetener is required to sweeten food. Most artificial sweeteners are considered “free foods.” Free foods do not count as calories or carbohydrates in the diabetes exchange because they contain 20 calories in 5 grams or less of carbohydrates.

But remember that even when foods contain artificial sweeteners, other ingredients may still affect your blood sugar levels. For example, regular use alters the balance of gut bacteria, making the cells of the body increasingly resistant to insulin. As a result, it can lead to increased levels of insulin and glucose in the blood.

Research also shows that people who consume artificial sweeteners have a higher resistance to insulin, a specific glucose pattern in people with diabetes. Therefore, the more you consume artificial sweeteners regularly, the more problems will arise with regard to insulin resistance.

Aside from insulin, artificial sweeteners may alter the balance of the gut microbiota. In addition, it may contribute to metabolic dysfunction. Therefore, people should be aware of the scientifically backed information about a particular artificial sweetener and its use to encourage healthy eating, good nutrition, and enjoyment of food.

How do some artificial sweeteners work?


Saccharin is an artificial sweetener, 200-700 times sweeter than regular sugar. It may also have a metallic or almost bitter taste. It is often used in the production of foods and medicines.

A study indicated the relationship between saccharin consumption on insulin response and glycemic impact in young and healthy males. However, results of the same indicated that saccharin did not affect the participants’ blood sugar levels. However, using the same for extended periods needs more research.

Consumption of saccharin increased insulin levels as it stimulates sweet receptors. Furthermore, even products that contain saccharin, such as toothpaste and mouthwash, can increase insulin levels.


Aspartame is a zero-calorie artificial sweetener that is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. It is usually mixed with other sweeteners to reduce its bitter taste. As a result, it is used freely in beverages, dairy products, and other foods. The acceptable daily intake provided by the Food and Drug Administration is 50 mg/kg body weight per day.

Research indicates that the use of aspartame by people with diabetes is relatively tolerant. Many may use it after the period recommended by the doctor, unaware of the ill effects that may occur. Some of the side effects of using aspartame for a long time are weight gain, headache, jitteriness, nausea, and increased blood sugar levels.

According to experts, this particular sweetener is also under scrutiny for safety issues, including blood sugar swings, brain damage, and cancer-causing problems. As a result, long-term use of aspartame, especially by people with diabetes, has been discouraged by many sources.


Neotam is an artificial sweetener derived from aspartame. It is about 700-13,000 times sweeter than regular sugar. They are gray-white in color with an intensely sweet taste, almost like licorice. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved its consumption by maintaining the daily intake limit at 2 g/kg.

This sweetener is known for its rapid breakdown during the human metabolism process. It does not cause cancer and releases a small amount of phenylalanine compared to other sweeteners. Makes it safe for people with phenylketonuria or phenylketonuria. However, research shows its adverse effects on body weight, loss of appetite, mild headaches, and liver complications.

acesulfame potassium

This artificial sweetener is FDA approved and known as Ace-K. It is 200 times sweeter than table sugar. Therefore, it is exceptionally suitable for heating and excellent for baked goods and desserts.

Since you’ll only need less of any artificial sweetener, most of them, including Ace-K, help with weight management. It hardly contributes to an increase in calories in the body. Additionally, research indicates that long-term consumption of Ace-K along with a low-carb diet can reduce glucose levels in the cortex and cognitive performance.


Sucralose is about 600 times sweeter than sugar itself. It is largely used in packaged foods, including bait; It also changes the texture and size of some foods. It is obtained from ordinary sugar but differs from the same in the form of its enzymatic structure. This property prevents it from breaking down in the digestive system and not producing energy.

According to a meta-analysis, the results are mixed. Research suggests that people who consume sucralose acutely may experience glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and develop insulin sensitivity. At the same time, there are findings that taking sucralose once in a while will not affect one’s hormonal or glucose responses.

Should diabetics eat artificial sweeteners?

Obesity is a precursor to diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndromes. Therefore, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the American Heart Association (AHA) have cautiously approved the use of artificial sweeteners in place of sugar. However, there is enough evidence to support that artificial sweeteners will increase your insulin resistance.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established an “acceptable daily intake” (ADI) for each food item. It is the maximum amount of nutrients that one can consume on a daily basis without harming them for life. The list approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration includes sweeteners such as Ace-K, aspartame, neotam, saccharin, stevia, and sucralose.

The bottom line is that artificial sweeteners are relatively better than sugar and do not harm blood sugar levels. They may not necessarily be “healthy” but they appear to be better than refined sugars and other sugars. They are safe for consumption in most parts of the world and do not require a specific prescription.

Are artificial sweeteners safe to use?

People are starting to question whether it is safe to consume sugar substitutes in the name of health as their popularity grows. Unfortunately, there were varied results for the same. According to a study, artificial sweeteners promote weight gain, brain tumors, bladder cancer, and other health risks in addition to their benefits.

There is still a great deal of controversy. Some believe that you can eat these sweeteners without fear of any health risk. In contrast, others suggest that even single use can be harmful. In such a situation, it is safe to say that consuming artificial sweeteners and natural sweeteners in moderation is completely safe.

HealthifyMe Note

Stevia, a low-calorie sweetener, monk fruit sweetener, and erythritol from grapes, watermelon, peaches, and pears are popular sweetener choices. You can use these artificial sweeteners if you want to keep your blood sugar levels under control.

Are there natural alternatives to artificial sweeteners?

Many cookbooks and TV shows tell you that honey or jaggery are healthy alternatives to refined sugar. However, this may not be entirely true. These sugars, honey and honey have roughly the same glycemic index.

If you’re still not sure what kind of artificial sweetener to use, try the natural sweeteners listed below.


Stevia, a low-calorie sweetener, is a popular sugar substitute from Stevia Rebaudiana. It is grown for medicinal and consumer purposes. The leaves of this plant contain sweet compounds called rebaudioside and stevioside. These compounds are much sweeter than sugar but contain no calories.

local monk fruit

Another alternative is monk fruit extract which is mainly harvested in the Southeast Asian region. It is said to be free of carbs and calories and a rich source of antioxidants in addition to its sugar management properties.


This sweetener is obtained from grapes, melons, peaches and pears. It is usually available in powder form. It does not lead to elevated glucose levels or contribute to the cholesterol or triglyceride content in the bloodstream.


With the world’s delightful statistics on diabetes and obesity, it’s no surprise that people want to cut back on their sugar intake. While this need is very reasonable, people have moved to consuming artificial sweeteners regularly. Sugar substitutes are ubiquitous in the market, which can be confusing.

A dietitian, doctor or coach can help you choose the best option for your health. Next, follow a controlled consumption in the same manner as suggested by your health advisor. Your body may react to certain sweeteners differently; Hence, be sure to check for adverse reactions or allergies.

According to numerous studies, prolonged use of artificial sweeteners can permanently change people’s preferences for sweet foods, resulting in lifelong increased sugar intake. It can also interfere with children’s ability to learn the basic connections between sweet flavors and calorie intake, which can negatively affect metabolic control. Let’s understand that artificial sweeteners are not intrinsically harmful to your health. However, even the greatest things are great only in moderation.

Download the Healthifyme app

About the author


Leave a Comment