Artificial sweeteners: Yay or nay?

Blog post
Do you often reach for diet soda, no added-sugar treats or use nutrasweet to sweeten your coffee?
Do you think these are BETTER for your health and weight loss goals – especially if you’re a diabetic? πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ
Think again.
When artificial sweeteners were introduced everyone was very excited about their potential because they were zero or low calories, which should lead to weight loss, lower blood sugars, and a healthier population.
People wanting to lose weight were told to switch from regular sugary soda to diet soda – maybe you were even one of them?!
Unfortunately, research suggests that artificial sweeteners may in fact have the EXACT OPPOSITE effect! πŸ˜±πŸ˜±πŸ˜±
That’s because of the way the body processes and reacts to artificial sweeteners.
Some of the potential negative effects include:
INCREASED fat storage,
INCREASED insulin resistance,
INCREASED sugar cravings,
DECREASED efficiency in regulating blood sugar,
DECREASED satisfaction, and
DECREASED health of the gut microbiome.
Although further research is needed for conclusive results in humans, we recommend steering clear of artificial sweeteners and instead focusing on:
βœ… 1) preparing your own healthy treats at home using whole, natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, agave, or unrefined brown sugar.
βœ… 2) keeping your desserts for occasional treats or special occasions.
βœ… 3) always pairing your sweets or desserts with a healthy fat, protein and/or fibre in order to reduce blood sugar spikes – EVEN if you’re using a whole, natural sweetener.
βœ… 4) cut your sugar cravings and addiction to soda by reducing your exposure to them (buy a single serve not a family pack), cutting back gradually (we don’t recommend going cold turkey because it usually leads to cravings and possibly binge eating), and actively searching for delicious, whole, nourishing treats that you genuinely enjoy (like our Decadent Chocolate Smoothie recipe or our wildly popular Dark Chocolate and Pecan Stuff Medjool Dates).

βœ… 5) For BONUS points: Take a walk or move your body after you eat sweets to further help regulate blood sugars!

So tell me, are you addicted to sugar?
And what’s ONE step you can take TODAY to cut back on refined white sugar?
We’d love to hear from you!


Anna Rakoczy
Founder, Homemade Method
Stanford / UC Berkeley

Get started with 3 free recipes & our free workshop.


  • Kathie Lynch

    March 17, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    I use Splenda in the morning in my tea. I need two cups of tea in the morning to start my day and, although I can drink it without sweetener, it sets me up right to drink it with skim milk and Splenda. Used to use raw sugar until I was diagnosed with Type 2. Tried Stevia but it leaves an aftertaste. This tea habit is over 40 years long, and it’s my one inflexible dietary choice. It’s what gets me out of bed in the morning and I savor it as I get adjusted and plan my day. I’ve given up chips and cakes and fried foods and scones and now eat very simply. That’s not a problem. Messing with my tea would definitely be a problem.

    1. Maddy Kuhn

      March 18, 2019 at 10:18 pm

      Hello Kathie! Thank you so much for sharing with us. We posted this topic as an educational resources related to sugar substitutes but your comment brings up another excellent topic: personalizing and prioritizing lifestyle changes! It sounds like you have already done an excellent job with altering different aspects of your eating patterns such as giving up some of the more processed foods to eat more simply. We can’t do it all, so sometimes it’s the small changes that really do make a difference in the end. If you ever do decide to alter your tea just a little in the morning, I would suggest doing so slowly. Maybe start with 1/2 spend and 1/2 sugar and go from there. You are in control! Cheers! Katy

  • Carol Girardin

    April 26, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    Thank you for your kind acknowledgement + confirmation of my “membership” in your healthier lifestyle support group. I’m delighted to be part of such a friendly cluster of encouraging, ethusiastic adventurists!! … lol … this is definitely the answer to my prayers!! 😊… sincerely … 😊

    1. Homemade Method

      April 26, 2019 at 8:05 pm

      Hello Carol! We are so happy to have you join the group! I’m sure you’ll find some tips and new recipe ideas to help support you on your health and wellness journey. You can also keep an eye on this blog for more great information! Warmly, Katy

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