No doubt, eliminating any of the sugar sources is one of the most successful ways of overcoming PCOS. But it hard to live without sugar for many people. What most people do not understand is that it is indeed possible to have your cake and eat it, too, with the right awareness and resources.
Because insulin resistance is believed to be the root cause of PCOS, it sounds like a smart idea to use artificial sweeteners. They are also known as sugar substitutes (or non-nutrient sweeteners) and are used as substitutes for sugars. These are present in several products and beverages sold as “sugar-free” or “diet,” including low sugar soft drinks, baked goods and other snack foods. Besides sugar, artificial sweeteners are used to help satisfy our sweet tooth – and regulate blood sugar. These are all sweeter than table sugar (sucrose) but have few calories or none.
Are Artificial sweeteners bad for health?
Artificial sweeteners don’t contain any calories or sugar so they shouldn’t induce weight gain or increase blood sugar but consuming artificial sweeteners is bad for PCOS if taken for an extended period of time.
Yet a lot of thought should be put into if anything that is artificial is healthy. There was a lot of research conducted and found no proof that such sweeteners cause any other danger to human health as long as they are consumed in moderation.
While it has been having certified these sweeteners as safe, their safety remains a hotly debated issue. The initial cause of concern was a risk of cancer. Yet there is growing experimental and epidemiological evidence in recent years that low-calorie sweeteners facilitate similar metabolic dysfunction to that of regular sugar, given the lack of calories.
Thinks you need to be aware of artificial sweeteners.
Although artificial sweeteners are considered safe for consumption by humans, there are still a lot of concerns about how such items affect us in the long run.
- How do they affect the intestinal microbiota? Research on microbiome is very recent and is thought to have a significant impact on our health and how we metabolize foods. Some evidence indicates that such artificial sweeteners may have a harmful effect on the gut microbiome. This can have an effect on weight and insulin resistance. When we have more “unhealthy” bacteria in our intestines, we can gain weight or get blood sugar to rise faster than if we have more “normal” bacteria in our guts.
- Will they heighten our sweet cravings? Once used to something that we eat or drink sweet-smelling, it can lead us to want more sweets. There’s also a hypothesis since artificial sweeteners are sweeter than sugar but have no calories, we ‘re more likely to look for extra calories to make up for later in the day.
- When something is branded “sugar-free,” are you going to eat more of that? Many people prefer to consume more foods (or drinks) if they are branded as “sugar-free.” It may be that foods sweetened with artificial sweeteners aren’t as satisfying as the “actual” version so that people need more of the sweet food to fulfil a craving. The problem is that these cookies, cakes, ice creams and sweets made with artificial sweeteners (usually) still contain carbohydrates and raise blood sugar and insulin, particularly when consumed in large quantities.
The first and most important thing any woman with PCOS has to know about is that the body metabolizes glucose and fructose differently. These two sugars are the basic building blocks of all sweet-tasting foods. Aside from artificial sweeteners if anything tastes sweet, that is because there is either glucose or fructose in it.
In women with PCOS, fructose is metabolized through the liver. A fructose-rich diet is known to cause your body to accumulate fat, which has many adverse effects on your fertility. Even eating fructose makes excess hair, acne, and male pattern baldness even worse. Glucose, on the other hand, is also causing all these problems but uses a particular mechanism to do so – glucose disrupts the hormone balance by triggering a sudden increase in our blood sugar levels.
Glucose is the lesser of two evils in a head to head comparison of these two sweet-tasting compounds. While too much glucose can entirely mess with our hormone regulation at once, at least our bodies are well adapted.
But here are few things you can do to stay healthy and satisfy your cravings,
- Artificial Sweeteners and PCOS have a link as many women tend to switch to artificial sweeteners. But you can look for Glucose-dependent sweeteners. Some of the significant benefits of using glucose-dependent sweeteners are that by mixing them with plenty of healthy fats and protein, we can reduce the potentially harmful effects that they can cause. The reason this happens is that glucose is consumed more gradually by the body in the presence of fat and protein, ensuring that we get more of a gradual rise in blood sugar, rather than a jump.
- To sweeten coffee, plain yoghurt, or oatmeal, try using some “actual” sugar (maybe honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar as well). A teaspoon of sugar consists of just 5 grams of carbohydrates which are not adequate to influence blood sugar.
- If you want something good, go for what you want. If you encourage yourself to eat without remorse what you want, you’ll likely find that you need less. There’s no need to avoid sugar entirely and trying to avoid it ultimately can cause you to binge on it.
- Our taste buds are fantastic instruments that nature has modified to make them hypersensitive to sweetness. The problem is that many of us have overloaded these receptors with sugary foods excessively, to the extent where we need a lot of sweetness to feel the maximum sensation of taste. The taste tolerance for sweet foods is significantly diminished by entirely quitting sugar for 8-10 weeks, as the natural super-taster abilities are restored.
The fact is, by nourishing the body with the right nutrients, you can fully conquer PCOS, and you can even enjoy a little bit of sweetness along the way. Just have to be careful about how you’re doing it.