Learn The Sweet and Not-So-Sweet Facts About Artificial Sugars
You’re looking for a healthier alternative to your usual diet, so when you go to lunch with your friends, you order a diet coke as your beverage. But is this really healthier? Discover the facts about adding artificial sugars or sugar substitutes into your diet.
Artificial Sugar vs. Sugar
Sugary snacks are usually everyone’s favorite. Often, food and beverages with sugar or added sugars can play a huge part in weight gain and serious health problems. Some choose to turn to sugar substitutes like items marked “sugar-free” and “diet.’”
The main difference between artificial sugars and regular sugar is they have the same sweet taste (noted as even sweeter) with little to zero calories. According to researchers at John Hopkins Medicine, artificial sugars are 200 to 700 times sweeter than table sugar.
So, is adding artificial sugars to your diet the healthier option? Let’s take a look.
Benefits of Artificial Sugar
- Lower the risk for dental issues – tooth decay and cavities.
- No effect on the sugar level in the bloodstream.
- Short-term weight management.
- No linkage to cancer (this was a myth that studies debunked when the products were introduced).
Negatives of Artificial Sugar
- Increase the risk for stroke and heart disease in the long-term.
- An increase in sweet cravings leads to weight gain.
- It alters how your body communicates hunger from overstimulation of sugar receptors.
Different Types of Artificial Sugar
The United States Food and Drug Administration approved the following sugar substitutes:
- Acesulfame Potassium or Sweet One
- Aspartame or Equal
- Neotame or Newtame
- Saccharin or Sweet’N Low
- Sucralose or Splenda
- Luo han guo or Monk Fruit in the Raw
- Purified stevia leaf extracts or Truvia
The Importance of a Nutritional Diet
A product labeled no sugar or low sugar does not make it the more nutritious, healthier choice. Artificial sugars are still new, and studies around the long-term effects are ongoing.
“Artificial sweeteners can be used as a tool to help reach health and wellness goals just like using less regular sugar. The key is moderation – use less sugar and less artificial sweeteners – for a successful journey to a healthier balanced diet,” said Krista Ryan, The Colony ER & Hospital’s Clinical Dietitian.
Also, natural sugars are what keep your body active. Sugars are carbohydrates that provide needed nutrients for your body to run properly. Removing all sugar or glucose from your body is very harmful.
In general, the recommendation is small amounts of artificial sugars for a short period of time if you choose to add this alternative to your diet. Current studies show sugar substitutes used in moderation are safe for healthy adults.
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Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Alexandria Emergency Hospital and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.