I’ve done my own studies with artificial sweeteners and blood sugar using a glucometer. Consumption of artificial sweeteners seems to have no effect on my blood sugar. If it triggered insulin release, my blood sugar would have dropped, but it didn’t.
Now here’s the oddity. My herbalist tells me that the mere sense of tastes on the tongue are sufficient to trigger initial hormonal reactions to foods. The taste of sweetness can trigger the start of hormonal responses through out the body and digestive track in anticipation of sugar consumption. (As can other tastes.) Bullshit you say? What does an herbalist know, right?
Well, I went in for an upper GI scan a while back, and at one point the radiologist tells me to “think about my favorite food”. I had to ask why. He said the mere thought of food will trigger release of digestive enzymes and start contractions in the stomach. Holy crap! This is a real doctor saying this, and he’s doing stomach scans that prove it.
The point being that we know the body responds in ways that we routinely ignore and treat as trivial, yet we distort the body’s correct reactions with artificial sweeteners, flavors, etc. and ignore the possible consequences. It’s certainly possible that artificial sweeteners distort the body’s responses in ways other than insulin release (nd destroying the gut flora), and the long term effect of these distortions could be damaging. Of course, nobody bothers to research this, so we don’t know for sure.[/quote]
Part of the remaining question here is, “are 0 calorie sweeteners changing the way your body responds to real sugar?” If the artificial stuff isn’t doing anything to insulin/blood sugar a possible reason is your body has stop responding to sweet tastes like it naturally should. So there could be negative consequences when you go for the regular coke instead of your normal diet one.
To the original question:
What I tell people who ask is that taste is a part of your body’s glucose control mechanism. Even if the artificial sweetener isn’t giving you cancer or messing up your gut, it is messing with the control system in a way it wasn’t evolved to do.
I eat virtually no sugar (for years now) and can’t even force myself to drink a soft drink, diet or regular. Things like strawberries are about the limit of my palate nowadays.