Is Sugar Free Really The Better Option?


Fake sugars are being placed in drinks in order to label products “Sugar free”, but these substitutes are leading to mental health issues in their consumers, according to behavioral health professionals.


The stomach sends messages to the brain on how to react based on what has entered the gastric system. When eating natural foods, the mental health of the consumer reacts positively according to Tara Hacker, a former behavioral health professional. 


“Healthy bacteria in your stomach are directly responsible for sending out happy chemicals in your brain,” explains Hacker.


So why are sugar free drinks causing anxiety in so many people? Isn’t sugar bad for you?


Osteopathic Physician Dr. Mercola states that, “Sucralose [an amount as much as one packet of Splenda] can destroy up to 50 percent of the microbiome [healthy bacteria] in your gut.”


When healthy bacteria in the stomach is being killed off by artificial sugar, the stomach essentially alerts the brain to send out harmful neurological chemicals causing the mental state of some people to deteriorate. 


According to the article “Gut Microbiome and the Brain”, Leo Galland states that the harmful chemicals released can “…influence memory, mood, and cognition [which is] clinically and therapeutically relevant to a range of disorders, including alcoholism, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and restless legs syndrome.”


Most people trying to lose weight will choose a Diet Coke over regular Coke because they feel as though once they love their bodies they will love themselves and be in a healthy mental state. While the state of the body is related to the state of the mind, decisions to drink “more healthy” soda can actually cause your mental state to worsen. The body is not meant to intake artificial sugars; it thrives on consuming natural items explains Hacker.


“Unless you’re a diabetic,’’ she said, “you should never be putting artificial sugar into your body.” 


While there’s nothing wrong with indulging in something to soothe a sweet tooth every so often, avoiding artificial sweeteners and sugars can improve mental health in the long run.