Sweetener: An Alternative?

The math seems remarkably simple: A sugar cube has ten calories, a sweetener tablet has none. Therefore, sweetener makes you slim. But this math does not actually work.

Why sweetener is not an alternative!

It is debated whether a sweet taste alone triggers a tongue reflex that stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin. The insulin released as a result, however, initially meets with nothing because sweeteners do not provide any additional blood sugar that insulin could break down. What happens instead? The insulin produced now heads back to existing blood sugar, the blood sugar level drops, and the body responds with a massive appetite.

Results: Sweetener makes you hungry! However, this thesis has not yet been scientifically proven.

But it has been proven that sweeteners cause a long-term appetite-stimulating effect. Many studies confirm this: One study, for example, investigated the effect of different yogurt varieties on food intake and appetite. It was found that those who ate yogurt with sweeteners felt hungry the most during the day and ate the most. In pig fattening, sweeteners have been used for years to stimulate appetite and increase weight.


Those who exchange sugar for sweeteners can never get rid of a sweet tooth. However, one must avoid sweets in order to maintain a healthy weight. This does not mean that we have to forgo sweets altogether. The quantity of the sweet, as well as when and how often one eats it, has great influence on whether one gets fat or stays slim.

Sweeteners are also not harmless to health

Some sweeteners are considered harmless, others are still being tested. Sweeteners are explicitly permitted for certain foods only in limited quantities. They are produced chemically or isolated from plants or micro-organisms and used singly or in combinations. The artificial sweetness is found in a number of processed foods - such as lemonades, sweet pickles, fish marinades or yogurt. On ingredients lists and labels, artificial sweeteners hide behind the E-numbers. At home, they are available on the market as liquid table sweeteners, in tablet form or as straws.

The most important sweeteners at a glance:

Saccharin (E 954) and Cyclamate (E 952)

Both sweeteners are controversial because they led to bladder cancer in animal experiments. This has not yet been proven for humans. Since both sweeteners are not broken down in the body, long-term risk is unnown.  Saccharin can cause resistance to antibiotics, and cyclamate can increase blood pressure.

Aspartame (E 951)

Aspartame is the most studied sweetener. Studies have shown that aspartame "sticks" to the lymphatic system; uses up the trace element chromium, which is important for fat burning; and can cause thyroid disorders and cardiac disturbances. Studies suggest that aspartame worsens diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis. When aspartame is broken down, formaldehyde, known as a nerve toxin, is produced in the body and can become addictive when combined with certain other food components.

Acesulfame K (E 950)

Acesulfame K is a purely synthetic sweetener that is absorbed in the intestine but not metabolized. It is excreted unchanged in the urine.

Neohesperidin (E 959)

Neohesperidin is derived from citrus peel. It has a licorice-like aftertaste and is usually used in combination with other sweeteners. It can enhance taste and mask bitter flavors. Neohesperidin is absorbed and broken down by the body in small amounts.

Thaumatin (E 957)

The raw material for this sweetener comes from the berries of the West African Katemfe fruit. Thaumatin is broken down as a protein in the body and considered harmless to health.


Learn to love without artificial sweeteners. Instead, use honey, maple syrup or real sugar and limit the quantities. Cereal does not need sugar or honey if you eat it with fresh fruit and nuts. Drink your coffee or tea without sugar or sweetener. Already after three weeks you will notice that coffee or tea with sugar no longer tastes good at all. Why? Because your tastes have changed! Stick with the adaptation phase for three to four weeks, and suddenly you will prefer foods that taste less sweet. This is a crucial to staying slim.