What’s the difference and what’s it matter to you?
You know that getting too much sugar isn’t good for you. So when you find yourself in a situation that demands a sugary treat, you often go for the artificial stuff, expecting it to be healthier for you. But are artificial sweeteners all they’re cracked up to be, or would you be better off with the natural choice?
Read on to learn what you can expect to get out of natural sugar compared to the manmade alternatives.
Artificial Packs More Punch
You may think you can use as much artificial sweetener as you want, but be careful. As sugar substitutes are much sweeter than sugar, adding the same amount of artificial sweetener as you would natural sugar can ruin the flavor of your drink or favorite dessert.
Real Is Fatter
Compared to artificial sweeteners, real sugar has more calories, making it easier to gain weight when consuming real sugar. But that doesn’t mean artificial sugars are fat-free. In fact, many people who primarily consume artificial sweeteners wind up gaining more weight than their real-sugar-eating counterparts. Why? Because they think since artificial sweetener has fewer calories, they can eat more. This leads to the consumption of more cookies, cakes, and other foods filled with useless calories.
They’re Not Carcinogenic
When sugar alternatives first hit the market, there was a big scare that artificial sweeteners were linked to cancer. However, after a number of careful studies, researchers disproved this idea, as they found no definitive link between cancer risk and use of artificial sweeteners.
All Are Considered Safe
In order to be on your grocer’s shelf, natural and artificial sweeteners must meet approval by the appropriate regulating body. In America, this is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the FDA has approved five artificial sweeteners: saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, D-tagatose, and acesulfame potassium. Another sweetener making big waves is stevia. Though it cannot be sold as an artificial sweetener in America, it is sold as a dietary supplement after more than 20 years of safe use in Japan.
Fake May Improve Your Health
While the jury is still out, early testing has found that use of aspartame may actually give your health the upper hand. In a study at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, researchers found aspartame to be useful in providing pain relief to individuals suffering from sickle cell anemia, osteoarthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Only time will tell if these initial findings will hold up and artificial sweeteners will one day be used as a medical therapy.
You May Have Symptoms
Though artificial sweeteners haven’t been found to bring about cancer or other dangerous and deadly diseases, they can have mild side effects on certain people. Some of the most common include an upset stomach and headaches. In the event you find yourself experiencing either of these symptoms, lay off the artificial to find out if that’s the cause of your problems.
Moderation Is Key
For most people, eating natural sugar or using artificial sweeteners isn’t going to cause big weight fluctuations or health problems. However, eating too much of any kind of sweetener – whether it is natural or manmade – is where trouble comes in. It is especially dangerous to consume excessive sugar if you’re living with diabetes. Stay safe with your sweets by avoiding too much of any good thing.
How’s It Get White?
If you’ve ever seen sugar right off the cane, you know that sugar isn’t naturally white. Instead, it is yellow or brown. So how do they come up with that pure, white color for the sugar you may use every day? Through a bleaching process. In other words, the white sugar you use in your tea is essentially an artificial sweetener. Want nothing but nature? Better make sure your sugar is brown and yellow.