What are artificial sweeteners?
Artificial sweeteners are better known as sugar substitutes. Better yet we can say products that state they are “sugar free”. We definitely see that a lot in our grocery stores and sometimes we think that sugar free is better which may not always be the case because some are not actually natural and are still processed made sugars.
Normally when we use a sweetener we are stopping ourselves from reaching for the good ole granulated sugar that normally get. People go for artificial sweeteners because they do not add calories to your diet and you can use less of it because it provides that sweetness faster than table sugar does. Another plus of using artificial sweeteners is that they do not cause tooth decay and cavities like granulated table does. Also it is a better alternative for those with diabetes and for those trying to lose weight
because they do not raise your blood sugar (carbohydrates).
The FDA regulates the use of artificial sweeteners and it is considered an food additive. So the FDA approves all artificial sweeteners before you see them on grocery shelves.
So whats the 411 on these sweeteners?
Aside the from artificial sweeteners we also have novel sweeteners and sugar alcohols which I just recently learned a little more about. One of the big novel sweeteners that we all have heard about is Stevia and as for sugar alcohols they are still considered carbohydrates because they are naturally found in some fruits and vegetables. Sugar alcohols is not like an alcoholic drink because it doesn’t contain ethanol but it does contain calories. Sugar alcohols do have a laxative effect when consumed in large amounts so you must keep that in mind.
The biggest talk when it comes to these sweeteners is that it is said that they can cause cancer but research has been done and for the most part most of these sweeteners have not been found to be harmful. The most important thing when it comes to sugar is how much of it do you consume and use on a daily basis and this determines how it will effect your health. Moderation is key when it comes to using sugar and moderation is key when it comes to nutrition.
Examples of Natural Sweeteners:
- Coconut sugar
- Maple Syrup
Examples of Novel Sweeteners :
Examples of Sugar Alcohols:
FDA Approved Artificial Sugars:
- Sweet ‘N Low