Artificial Sweeteners VS Natural Sweeteners: Which is a Better Sugar Substitute?
Are sweeteners better than sugar?
The short answer is: yes (if you choose the right kind of sweetener). This is because regular sugar has extreme long-term effects on your body like increased blood pressure and inflammation which then increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other life-threatening diseases. Now, when picking sugar alternatives, people usually go for artificial sweeteners like Aspartame, Sucralose, Acesulfame K, Saccharin, and Xylitol. All of these sweeteners are not ideal alternatives to refined sugar as they also cause severe side effects on your body like weight gain, early onset of diabetes, and obesity.
On the brighter side, there are tons of healthy alternatives that don't cause such critical side effects on the body! These are natural sweeteners that are extracted and sourced directly from nature. The most common ones include Stevia, Erythritol, and Monk fruit sweeteners which are extracted from Stevia leaves and sweet fruits like grapes, watermelon, and monk fruit. Not only are they better than refined sugar and artificial sweeteners, but are also beneficial for your body!
Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe?
To answer your question in a nutshell: yes and no, both, depending on which sweetener you choose as your sugar substitute. Primarily, there are two types of sweeteners in the market, being, artificial sweeteners, and natural sweeteners. To elaborate on that, artificial sweeteners have harmful side effects on your body, bitter aftertaste, and are sourced from plant extracts or processed by chemical synthesis. Artificial sweeteners have either of these 5 sources: Aspartame, Sucralose, Acesulfame K, Saccharin, and Xylitol. Let's break down what effects these sweeteners can cause serious long-term effects on your body. Firstly, Aspartame can cause allergies, depression, seizures, and weight gain. Other than that, sucralose is known to be 600 times sweeter than regular sugar and may cause extreme digestive and immune system problems like inflammation, which eventually may lead to obesity, and diabetes. Moreover, Acesulfame K. and Saccharin, both can increase the risk of obesity and diabetes. Lastly, Xylitol has critical side effects like diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome. In contrast to both refined sugar and artificial sweeteners, that's not where your options for a sugar-free lifestyle end! Natural sweeteners like Stevia, Erythritol, and Monk fruit sweeteners have zero sugar, are safer to consume, and can be more beneficial to your body. Moreover, natural sweeteners are naturally sourced from Stevia leaves and fruits and typically don't have an intense aftertaste. Thus, a natural sweetener tends to be a more favourable option when starting a sugar-free lifestyle.
Are there any side effects of artificial sweeteners?
To answer your question: A sugar substitute like Aspartame can have severe side effects on your body like headaches, migraines, irritability, anxiety, and insomnia, among others. Moreover, Saccharin can also cause long-term and severe ill effects on your liver, and increase the risk of obesity and diabetes. As for Stevia, it is a natural sweetener that is extracted from stevia leaves and is said to be safer and more beneficial to use. Some studies show that Stevia can help lower blood pressure for people with blood pressure concerns. Hence, natural sweeteners such as Stevia, Erythritol, and Monk fruit sweeteners are safer options as compared to artificial sweeteners. Hope that gives you enough helpful information!
Are there any healthy sugar substitutes?
Basically, there are bases to every sweetener, either artificial or natural. Aspartame is one type of artificial sweetener with harmful long-term effects on your body. Other artificial sweeteners include Xylitol, Sucralose, Acesulfame K, and Saccharin. All of these sugar substitutes can cause critical effects on your body like increased inflammation, weight gain, and increased risk of diabetes and obesity. Specifically, Aspartame can cause an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart problems.
Not to get discouraged, because there are healthier sugar alternatives like natural sweeteners! Stevia, Erythritol, and Monk fruit sweeteners are naturally sourced from Stevia leaves and sweet fruits and don't have severe side effects. Stevia, particularly, reduces calorie intake and decreases blood sugar levels and the risk of cavities. Just remember to check the labels of sugar-free products and you're all set to make healthier choices!
Which is the best sweetener to use every day?
That's a great question! In short, there are multiple types of sweeteners in the market that can be used as sugar alternatives while cooking or adding to your beverages, which are both healthy and harmful. Typically, the most common alternatives are actually harmful to you; these are artificial sweeteners like Aspartame, Sucralose, Acesulfame K, Saccharin, and Xylitol. These sweeteners usually have a bitter aftertaste that tends to ruin the taste of whatever you are cooking or drinking. Not just that, artificial sweeteners can cause critical side effects on your body like digestive issues, headaches, migraines, anxiety, and more. There are also severe long-term effects on your body after consuming artificial sweeteners such as an increased risk of diabetes and obesity. This is where natural sweeteners come into play; natural sweeteners neither have an intense aftertaste, nor severe side effects on your body. Natural sweeteners like Stevia, Erythritol, and Monk fruit are naturally sourced from Stevia leaves, fruits like grapes, peaches, pears, etc., and monk fruit, respectfully. Natural sweeteners are easy to mix in your coffee, tea, and smoothies and can be used as alternatives to regular refined sugar (in terms of taste as well!).
Ultimately, it’s not just refined sugar that can cause hazardous effects on your body, but also artificial sweeteners. If used long-term. artificial sweeteners may lead to an increased risk of life-threatening diseases.
Other sugar substitutes like natural sweeteners don’t cause extreme side effects on the body and are, in effect, beneficial to your body. Making better choices eventually helps your body in the long run!