The Dr. Oz Show
Airdate: October 8, 2012
Dr. Oz: Should You Give Up Artificial Sweeteners?
- An Oz alert regarding artificial sweeteners
- How to reduce your use of artificial sweeteners
- Artificial butter substitutes are linked to Alzheimer's disease
- Swap the artificial fat for real fat
Are artificial substitutes helping or hindering health? Butter and sugar alternatives have been linked to increased risks for some of our greatest health concerns. Find out what the latest studies has to say about the impacts of artificial ingredients on the body. Dr. Oz shows how to steer clear and reduce your use of artificial ingredients.
Photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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Dr. Oz: Should You Give Up Artificial Sweeteners?
On the food and sweetener market today are four groups of artificial sweeteners that have been approved by the FDA: aspertame, sucralose, saccharin, acesulfame potassium. Artificial sweeteners are found in over 6,000 products sold in the United States with over 15% of the population using them regularly. That's billions of dollars spent on artificial sweeteners in an attempt to be more healthy but in reality may be causing health concerns.
Dr. Oz: Do Artificial Sweeteners Cause Weight Gain?
Yes, said Dr. Oz, artificial sweeteners can increase weight gain but there's an even bigger concern. Metabolic syndrome is on the rise in the United States with people experiencing three health concerns simultaneously: high blood pressure, excess belly fat, and insulin resistance. Dr. Oz said metabolic syndrome can be triggered by ingesting artificial sweeteners.
Renatta started adding artificial sweeteners to her coffee to reduce her calorie intake. There's a cup of coffee next to her all day, every day. Yet she can't lose weight. Another viewer shared that she started drinking diet soda in high school to fulfill her sweet cravings without turning to white sugar.
Neither woman realized there could be a health risk involved with their use of artificial sweeteners.
In an animation, Dr. Oz explained that there are taste buds not only in our mouths but also along our esophagus. These taste buds send messages to the brain that a sweet tasting food or drink has entered the body. The problem is that the brain knows that the sweet taste from artificial sweeteners isn't the right type of sweetness to satisfy sweet cravings. As a result, the pancreas creates more insulin and the body can become insulin resistant, fat can accumulate in the mid section, and the brain sends out message to get more sweets.
One soda containing artificial sweeteners can cause metabolic syndrome.
Dr. Oz: Can Artificial Sweeteners Cause Cancer?
Artificial sweeteners on their own do not cause cancer, said Dr. Oz however gaining weight by turning to artificial sweeteners can lead to increased cancer risks. Excess belly fat can lead to an increased risk of several cancers including colon, pancreas, endometrial, and breast cancers.
Dr. Oz: Can Artificial Sweeteners Making You Sick?
Millions of dollars are spent each year trying to resolve digestive issues including irritable bowel. Could these digestive issues be connected to the use of artificial sweeteners?
One viewer shared her story of experiencing diarrhea when eating sugar. She reached for artificial sweeteners thinking they would be easier on her digestive track. However after eating artificial sweeteners she experienced stronger diarrhea, stomach cramping, and increased body temperature.
Dr. Oz said there are recent studies showing that sugar alcohols, neither a sugar nor an alcohol but chemicals, can be the cause of a great deal of common digestive discomforts. Diarrhea is an extremely common reaction that has been linked to these sugar alcohols.
Dr. Oz explained that when sugar alcohols are ingested they can an increase in bacteria in the intestinal track and draws water in the intestines. The combination of bacteria and water in the intestines creates the equivalent of a laxative. All it takes is 10g of a sugar alcohol to cause a person to run to the bathroom.
Five sticks of sugar-free gum contains about 10g of sugar alcohols so does ½ of a sugar-free cookie and five sugar-free mints.
How can you tell if a product contains a sugar alcohol ingredient? Dr. Oz explained that any ingredient on a food label that ends in “itol” (such as sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol, maltitol, erythritol) is a sugar alcohol. The higher up on the ingredient list the “itol” ingredient is listed than the more of it in the product.
Dr. Oz: Can Artificial Sweeteners Cause Bladder Issues?
Renee wrote in to The Dr. Oz Show with a complaint and a plea for help for having to go to the urinate too often, actually all throughout the day. She noticed the problem when she switched from sugar in her coffee to an artificial sweetener and when she switched from regular soda to sugar-free soda. To add to the list, she chews sugar-free gum all day as well.
Bladder issues are a concern that is being linked to artificial sweeteners. In a normal bladder, when the bladder fills up with liquid, muscles contract allowing the body to urinate. When a person ingests artificial sweeteners, the muscles of the bladder begin to spasm and cause frequent urination without much urine present in the bladder.
Dr. Oz explained that one packet of artificial sweeteners can cause these spasms of the bladder muscles. For an average person, Dr. Oz explained, going to the bathroom eight times a day is normal. More than eight trips to the bathroom to urinate is a cause for concern.
Dr. Oz: Best Ways to Cut Back on Artificial Sweeteners
Ashley Koff, RD, author of Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged, joined Dr. Oz to discuss how to cut back on artificial sweeteners. Ms. Koff recommends using what she calls The Three R's to reduce your use of artificial sweeteners.
Dr. Oz Cut Back on Artificial Sweeteners: Reduce
Ms. Koff says to get yourself down to one serving of artificial sweetener a day. If you drink five cups of coffee in a day, she explained, only use one artificial sweetener in your coffee then use another natural sweetener for the other cups.
Dr. Oz Cut Back on Artificial Sweeteners: Replace
Switch from calorie-free sweeteners to natural sweeteners which can be low- to no-calories. Ms. Koff recommends stevia which is up to 50 times sweeter than sugar [some stevia products can be up to 300 hundreds times sweeter than sugar].
Stevia has become very popular so there are many products on the market some of which include both stevia as well as sugar alcohols or other artificial sweeteners. Read the label and make sure stevia is on the ingredient list and there are no artificial sweeteners.
Make it easy and carry your own packets with you. Ms. Koff says you still need to pay attention to serving sizes with stevia and limit your use to three or four packets a day. She explained that more stevia than that in a day is still giving the body sweetness overload. Liquid stevia is great to add to drinks. Stevia can be used in baking but adjustments need to made to a recipe if substituting another sweetener with stevia. Check online for baking swap directions.
Dr. Oz Cut Back on Artificial Sweeteners: Renew
Renew by restoring your taste buds. Overloading with sweeteners can cause the body to not recognize the natural taste of sweetness such as an apple or honey. Ms. Koff recommends using raw buckwheat honey as a natural sweetener which is dark in color and rich in unrefined sweeteners. A more natural form of sweeteners such as honey will provide not only a sweet taste but will also give the body a better form of energy versus the stimulants people get from diet soda.
[Click here to read posts from Ms. Koff's previous appearances on The Dr. Oz Show:
Dr. Oz: Can Butter Substitutes Cause Alzheimer's Disease?
Can artificial butter flavorings trigger Alzheimer's disease? Diacetyl is a chemical that is used in foods in place of butter in cooking sprays, cheese, crackers, baking mixes, microwave popcorn, and even, get this, your wine.
Diacetyl is seen by many as a revolutionary ingredient that can give food that rich buttery flavor without the fat and calories that comes with butter and other fats.
Over the summer, explained Dr. Oz, studies came out linking artificial butter flavors to Alzheimer's.
Eating these chemicals causes a sap-like material to accumulate in the brain along the neurons. That clumping in the brain that can lead to memory loss and possibly Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Oz explained that the studies over the summer were inspired by high reports of workers in factories that produce these artificial butter substitutes were developing higher incidents of Alzheimer's disease.
This study is concerning indeed but Dr. Oz explained that it could be decades before a true connection is proven. In the meantime, Dr. Oz asked why be a guinea pig?
Dr. Oz: How to Reduce Artificial Butter Flavorings
Look on the label for either “diacetyl” or “artificial ingredient”. Plant sterols are a good option, a natural option that is healthier than an artificial ingredient.
As with artificial sweeteners, using artificial butter flavorings over time the body can forget the taste and satisfaction of real butter. Dr. Oz recommended using whipped butter instead. The whipped variety of butter has greater volume which allows you use a smaller amount while still getting the natural taste of real butter.
Dr. Oz Funniest Lines from Kids
Dr. Oz's daughter Zoe used to hid her vitamins under her mattress. He loves to hear funny lines from kids and has received many examples from viewers:
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- If I stop playing video games I'll go blind;
- My parents said not to clean my room because they like it messy;
- Dr. Oz says chocolate is good for you;
- Can I have dessert before dinner because it helps me dance?
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