It is a truth universally acknowledged that eating the right food and following a good exercise regimen is the way to leading a healthy life. But how many of us actually follow this in our everyday lives? At a time when our lives are encumbered by stress owing to travel for work, working hours that stretch on for long spent in front of computer screens and a toxic environment that is shortening our life span, we do not realize how wrong our lifestyle is! One such habit is the unconscious consumption of artificial sweeteners which is used in diet sodas and thousands of other processed foods and is highly toxic for the body. Consuming these sugar substitutes on a regular basis is not a recipe for a healthy memory. In hospitals, a lot of patients who come believe that artificial sugar drinks are good and would help them lose weight. On the other hand, these drinks tend to cause digestive issues, arthritis, forgetfulness, and even confusion. These chemical-laden drinks can hurt your brain and cause memory loss. Research has also linked drinking diet colas to stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. Here, is a list of four ways in which artificial sweeteners affect your mind and should be avoided.

Forgetfulness

One of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners aspartame is extremely harmful to the brain. In simple words, aspartame works by stimulating brain cells, but if consumed in excessive amounts over the long term, it can over-stimulate the brain cells and work as a potent neurotoxin, thereby causing damage to the brain cells and leading to cell death, which causes forgetfulness and ultimately, dementia.

Chronic high levels of insulin

Taking artificial sweeteners causes elevated insulin levels, which increases the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and also raises the risk of heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and other health problems. High insulin is associated with weight gain and obesity.

Slow metabolism

Contrary to the belief that artificial sweeteners can cause weight loss, they make you gain weight. Many animal studies have shown that artificial sugars slow down metabolism and cause weight gain. In one such study, rats which were fed artificially sweetened foods were found to have slower metabolisms and more significant weight gain than those given sugar-sweetened foods — even though the rats that ate sugary foods consumed more calories than those that ate artificially sweetened foods. Both diabetes and obesity are considered independent risk factors for memory problems and several forms of dementia.

Impaired gut health

Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, saccharine, and acesulfame potassium have toxic effects on your gut bacteria. Compromised gut bacteria can lead to issues such as indigestion, acidity, impaired absorption of nutrients like leaky gut, a condition in which the lining of the gut becomes excessively permeable. A leaky gut has been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Therefore, to have good health, try switching to different fresh home squeezed and blended fruit juices, which are far better than anything that is packaged and bought from the store. Other options that can help you lessen your sugar intake, without causing any significant damage to the body are in the form of Erythritol, which is a sugar alcohol that comes in crystals or powder form, is calorie-free and does not cause blood sugar or insulin levels to spike. Another alternative is Stevia, which is a natural plant extract, but does not impact blood sugar levels the way sugar does. However, before taking these two alternatives, you should consult your doctor to avoid any complications.