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Artificial sweeteners are they all bad?

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Gardengnome, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. Gardengnome

    Gardengnome Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    I have used artificial sweeteners for years now, ever since they became widely available, sprinkling them on my breakfast grapefruit quite generously and although I have often read warnings against them, I have largely ignored them as I don't like the taste, especially of Stevia/Truvia. That was until I read the following : https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/threads/artificial-sweeteners-are-they-all-bad.159561/. I have been warned about my rising HbA1c but it stubbornly seems to remain the same every 6 months.

    Is it possible that using Canderel and similar artificial sweeteners could have a connection to my rising HbA1c [45 m/mol at the last count]. I'm 76 and eat pretty well I think, always cooking from scratch, and am not in the least overweight. I love to start the day with grapefruit and really don't want to stop; I am careful with carbs but cannot say that I am too precious about them either, but I do have a love of dairy, the full fat sort. I feel that if I put myself onto an ultra low calorie diet I may have some result but doubt whether I could sustain that for long. I don't count calories but am careful with what I eat. I do however wonder if I should give up the sweetener.
     
  2. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    There's nothing wrong with full fat dairy. My personal opinion on calories is that they are irrelevant, what is important is the source of those calories. Fruit will be doing you no favours, have you thought about a lower carb alternative, though, to grapefruit? Raspberries, strawberries and blackberries seem to be low in fructose and when served with double cream or full fat greek yoghurt they make a filling low carb breakfast.

    As to artificial sweeteners, some people have an insulin response to them and others do not.
     
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  3. Indy51

    Indy51 Type 2 · Expert

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    Been reading some good things about allulose recently. Am yet to try it but am keeping an eye out for it.
     
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  4. Indy51

    Indy51 Type 2 · Expert

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  5. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
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    Hi gardengnome, I have artificial sweeteners in something most days and my HbA1c has been in the mid 30s for over a year now. I suspect your HbA1c is more affected by the carbs you’re eating, maybe try counting them for a week or so and do some testing, as you say you’re not precious about counting, I wonder if your eating more carbs than you think?
     
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  6. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    do you use statins? or medication for high blood pressure? these medications can be affected by grapefruit. Also, these meds can raise blood sugar levels. It might be worth discussing with your GP.
     
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  7. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi. I wouldn't worry about having sweeteners as they will probably be having little effect on your BS. Just keep the carbs down and discuss medication options with the GP such as Metformin or an increase in that?
     
  8. Jim Lahey

    Jim Lahey I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I am doubtful that artificial sweeteners will have a direct glucose response. There is some opinion that they may contribute to perpetuating carbohydrate addiction in those trying to quit, but I have no opinion on that. In my view the grapefruit itself will be the culprit of rising blood glucose. Also the fructose content is likely to directly contribute to insulin resistance by inceasing fat in the liver.

    Not an ideal choice as a breakfast for someone with potential insulin dysfunction, but of course one that you are free to make.
     
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  9. brassyblonde900

    brassyblonde900 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    The powdered sweeteners tend to have bulking agents like Maltodextrin which is sugar by another name.
    The tablet forms are better because they have little or non of the offending bulking agents.
    Some people have an insulin response to artificial sweeteners, which would mean that for those who are not just trying to lower BG but also Insulin levels that will be cause for caution.
    YouTubers have even weighed in on the 'types' and their effect on BG, albeit non scientifically:wideyed:
     
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  10. kitedoc

    kitedoc Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    There is a study @Gardengnome, which suggests that some artificial sweeteners upset the bugs in the bowel and that this can cause an increase in insulin resistance and thus exacerbate diabetes control. Sounds like there is nothing like a free lunch !!
    diabetes.org.br Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering gut biome Suez et al Nature 2014.
    Of course this was in mice so the picture is far from complete.
    There is general advice on use of sweeteners in both Diabetes UK (no date of publication found) and Diabetes Australia (2014).
     
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  11. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    I have used sweeteners in my tea and coffee since the 1980's and as far as I am aware they have done me no harm. I don't use them for anything else. I use a tablet, not powder.

    If you are concerned, the easiest thing would be for you to ditch the grapefruit and swap to a few berries mixed in with a plain Greek full fat yogurt or double cream. Give it a try for a few days and see what you think. Your grapefruit is doing you no favours.
     
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  12. Gardengnome

    Gardengnome Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    I might try ditching the grapefruit, in the short term at least to see if berries make any difference. I've used Canderel and similar products in powder form ever since the 80's too, when they were first introduced. Prior to that artificial sweeteners were saccharine based I think, they had a pretty disgusting aftertaste I remember and the introduction of Canderel was a game changer. I am puzzled as to why I should be insulin resistant as I really do eat pretty well and walk the dog daily and generally lead an active life. I know my age is against me and I know that thin people develop diabetes, but other than having hypertension [controlled] there are no obvious risk factors.
     
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  13. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    It is one of life's big mysteries, the whole diabetes thing. All we can do is try our best.
     
  14. Gardengnome

    Gardengnome Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    You're probably right, I am eating more carbs than I realise. My son aged 50 also had an HbA1c of 44 but reduced that to 38 by following a low carb diet. He has hypothyroidism and was overweight [not obese I should add]. In the same period mine stayed exactly the same and I wasn't on a weight loss diet..
     
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  15. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    @Gardengnome do you by any chance eat a lot of fruit? This can be a significant cause of insulin resistance if you eat a lot of it.
     
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  16. Gardengnome

    Gardengnome Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    I don't take a statin although was offered one. I do take meds for high blood pressure, Losartan, and I don't think that is affected by grapefruit. I know some are though.
    I do actually, an awful lot, especially during the summer when it is in season, we have a large garden and grow plenty of our own, mainly raspberries and blackcurrants and apples. At this time of year I eat oranges, pears and some apples: not many bananas, mangoes or other tropical fruits. We are encouraged to eat '5 a day' aren't we? I know leafy veg are considered better than fruit but frankly cabbage isn't really my favourite vegetable!
     
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  17. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    I would honestly stop pointing your finger at sweeteners and start pointing it at all that fruit. Thr carbs in fruit (fructose) can only be metabolised in the liver, for those of us with T2 or PreD that fructose is stored as fat which leads to fatty liver and insulin resistance. Perhaps you might consider being a little more 'precious' about carbs?
     
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  18. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    All fruit contains fructose, which is mostly dealt with in the liver rather than the normal digestive system. Eaten in excess the liver will treat fructose as a toxin rather like it does with alcohol. Most of it ends up as fat round the liver - fatty livers = insulin resistance. Raspberries and strawberries are fine in small quantities, and maybe a small apple, but they should all be eaten with cream or yogurt as part of a meal and not as a snack.

    The 5 a day saying was made up by the Californian fruit and veg growers who lobbied the authorities. It was a figure plucked from the air. As tomatoes and avocados are fruits that are not full of fructose, they can be eaten freely.
     
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  19. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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  20. Gardengnome

    Gardengnome Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Guzzler and Bluetit, you have really given me food for thought: sorry - bad pun!
    Very interesting what you say about the '5 a day', why am I not surprised that it was thought up by the food lobby: Californian in this case. What it boils down to then is don't believe anything that the so called 'experts' tell us, whether it is '5 a day' fruit and veg, cholesterol and saturated fat and not forgetting the 'Eat Well Plate'. Scandalous really. And on that subject how about Coca Cola jumping into bed with Diabetes UK ? As one person wrote it's almost like a cancer charity being tied to Silkcut cigarettes!
    So with great reluctance I shall not buy any more grapefruit when my current store is finished and will take on board what you are saying about fruit generally. Merry Christmas and thanks for your advice.
     
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