Good morning to you all – Today´s focus is on sweeteners which many clients often ask whether they are ok to include on a daily basis instead of the real deal.
In recent decades, our westernised lifestyle has led to the increasing consumption of processed foods. Processed foods often contain a mixture of non-nutritive ingredients, such as artificial food additives, flavourings and sweeteners used to improve or maintain the, freshness, taste, texture, or appearance of “food” products (debatable description ).
You may have enjoyed an artificial sweetener in your tea or coffee? However, there are hidden side-effects to products like aspartame and saccharin. These sugar substitutes actually transform good gut bacteria into bad pathogenic bacteria which can trigger illness if they cross into the bloodstream.
Most recent evidence shows that the overconsumption of these artificial food additives deleteriously impacts our gut microbiome, diminishing its diversity, damaging the delicate gut barrier and causing inflammation.
The marketing of vegan & plant based diets can easily fool us to think we are not consuming processed foods but taking a closer look at labels of a lot of these products like oat milk for example, I’m afraid (don’t shoot the messenger), are some of the biggest offenders.
Oatly consists of only 10% oats! Water, rapeseed oil, Dipotassium Phosphate, calcium carbonate, Potassium Iodide, salt and tiny amounts of Vitamins D2, Riboflavin and B12. Dipotassium Phosphate is added as an emulsifier to help the oat milk interact with coffee and also allow it to steam better! Oh and it is also used in antifreeze!
This wonderful infographic from the study (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35056616/) shows how these non-nutritive ingredients affect gut microbiota composition, the gut barrier, and inflammatory system.