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What Is The Safest And Healthiest Sugar Substitute

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The Better Sugar Substitutes

Are Sugar Substitutes like Stevia Safe? | Healthy Food

#10 Stevia

Stevia comes from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana bush, native to South America. It contains no calories and is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia looks like a white powder or available in drops. Some sports drink and soda companies add it to their products.

Pros: Stevia is 100% natural and may have disease-preventing potential. A 2017 study in the Journal of Medicinal Foodsuggests that it could prevent metabolic syndrome and related conditions. It may also help lower high blood pressure.

Cons: Stevia can possibly lower blood pressure too much. It may interact with certain medications. There is also ongoing research around naturally occurring compounds in stevia and whether they can potentially cause cancers and genetic mutations.

#11 Sugar Alcohols

Sugar alcohols are reduced-calorie sweeteners. Despite the name, they dont contain alcohol. Two of these are erythritol and xylitol.

Erythritol occurs naturally in many fruits. Its found in mushrooms and foods derived from fermentation as well. And it can be man made.

Pros: It has no calories and doesnt seem to cause the same digestive problems as other sugar alcohols. It also doesnt lead to tooth decay, might be a preferred substitute for people with diabetes, and has been found to act as a strong antioxidant.

Xylitol is often used as a no-calorie sweetener for gums, mints, candy, and even some toothpaste.

#12 Monk Fruit

Monk fruit is around 150 to 200 times sweeter than table sugar.

#13 Molasses

Splenda Is Sweeter Than Stevia

You might think of pure table sugar as existing at the top of the sweetness chart, but thats not the case. Both Splenda and stevia are sweeter than sugar, and the former is the sweetest of all. Splenda is a whopping 700 times sweeter than sugar, while stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar. Still, its safe to say that, for all intents and purposes, both these products are plenty sweet.

Appetite Cravings And Weight

A study found that participants who often drank artificially sweetened beverages had higher BMIs. Another one found that 2.7% to 7.1% more of the regular artificial sweetener users gained weight compared to non-users.

Studies have also shown that water sweetened with aspartame increased appetite in normal-weight adult males and increased hunger compared to glucose or water alone. In another study, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, and saccharin were all linked to eating more, with aspartame having the greatest effect due to its lack of a bitter aftertaste.

A correlation exists between cravings and certain flavors like sweetness. Artificial sweeteners can make you want and seek out foods that are sweetened. To reduce that dependence, experts suggest weaning off or eliminating sugar or artificial sweeteners over a period of time.

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Natural Substitutes For Sugar

Added sugar is one of the most controversial ingredients in the modern diet.

It has been associated with many serious diseases, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

One contributing factor is that most people consume way too much sugar without even realizing it.

Fortunately, there are many ways to sweeten foods without adding sugar to them.

This article explores 9 alternatives to refined sugar.

1 ).

Sugar can interfere with hormones in your body that regulate hunger and satiety, leading to increased calorie intake and weight gain .

Excessive sugar consumption can also harm your metabolism, which can lead to increased insulin and fat storage .

A high sugar intake is associated with poor oral health and some of the most deadly diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers .

In addition to causing health problems, sugar has some addictive properties. It causes dopamine to be released in the reward center of the brain, which is the same response activated by addictive drugs. Nevertheless, sugar should not be compared to drugs.

These properties lead to cravings and can drive overeating, especially among stressed individuals (

Government Of Canada’s Role

Healthiest Sugar Substitute: Which Should You Use?

The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that foods available to all Canadians are safe.

Health Canada is responsible for administering the Food and Drugs Act. The Food and Drug Regulations require that pre-packaged foods carry a list of ingredients, including additives such as sugar substitutes. Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight.

The Health Products and Food Branch of Health Canada is responsible for regulating food additives, including sugar substitutes. All additives permitted in food sold in Canada are listed in the Food and Drug Regulations. Any request made to Health Canada to permit the use of a new food additive or to extend the use of a food additive to additional foods must be accompanied by a detailed submission. The submission must include the physical and chemical properties of the substance, the amount and reason for its use, and detailed results of tests establishing the safety of the product, as well as other requirements. Health Canada’s Bureau of Chemical Safety coordinates the assessment of food additive submissions. For a complete list of all food additives that are permitted, see the sources listed in the Need More Info? section.

Health Canada also works with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on matters of food safety. The CFIA enforces Canada’s food standards and labelling laws and works with associations, distributors, food manufacturers and importers to ensure complete and appropriate labelling of all foods.

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Xylitol Erythritol And Other Sugar Alcohols

The above sweeteners are processed from plant fibers, like birch, berries and, most often, cornhusks. They have very few calories and no carbohydrates, eliminating the risk of raising blood sugar, making them good options for diabetics. Still, since most of these sweeteners are derived from cornhusks, this could imply inherent GMOs, causing gastric problems to some users and raising larger concerns about how they may impact our health in other ways.

Which Sugar Substitute Is The Safest

The short answer? Theyre all extremely safe. Since the introduction of artificial sweeteners as substitutes for sugar, many studies have attempted to link their consumption with an increased risk of cancer and other diseases. Reliable medical journals have published several this in the face of hundreds of pre-clinical and clinical trials with evidence that any increased risk of disease was negligible. Inevitably, they were found to have published inconclusive results borne out of poor research practices and shoddy statistics7.

For example, a 1996 study concluded that the rise in brain tumor rates over the past 15 years coincided with the approval of aspartame8. The study also fed 320 rats an aspartame diet for 2 years, after which 12 of the rats were found to have developed brain tumors. While the media and the general public had a field day over the study titled Increasing brain tumor rates: is there a link to aspartame? the scientific community was unimpressed. It turns out that the authors of the study had fallen victim to confirmation bias, cherry-picking the data to suit their theory. Furthermore, later trials involving aspartame-fed rats could not replicate the results of the study.

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Are All Sugar Substitutes Suitable For Diabetics

Artificial and natural high-potency sweeteners do not contain carbohydrates and most studies indicate that they do not increase blood sugar levels . However, foods containing them are not necessarily carbohydrate-free, or low in carbohydrates, even if they claim to be sugar-free, reduced sugar, or no sugar added.

Always check the Nutrition Facts panel and ingredient list on food packages. For example, even when you buy sugar substitutes as table-top sweeteners, bulking agents, such as dextrose and maltodextrin, may be present. Those ingredients add a small amount of carbohydrate .

Sugar alcohols do provide calories, although less than sugar, and have less of an effect on blood sugar than other carbohydrates. Drinks, desserts, and other foods with sugar substitutes may still be high in calories, so, again, check the label. If you use a large amount of these products, the calories could start to add up.

Path To Improved Health

Are sugar substitutes healthy?

Sugar substitutes provide sweetness and enhance the flavor of food without adding the calories of sugar. Unlike sugar, they dont contribute to tooth decay. Most of them dont raise blood sugar levels. This may be helpful if you have diabetes and have to be careful about how much sugar you consume.

Sugar substitutes may also be helpful if youre trying to control the amount of calories you consume. They are found in most of the light, reduced calorie, and sugar-free foods and drinks available today. Although sugar substitutes have fewer calories than sugar, its best to limit them and focus on healthy food choices. Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains are the best sources of nutrition for your body.

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Drawbacks Of Using Substitutes

Some studies show that eating foods with zero-calorie sweeteners may have the opposite effect intended and may promote weight gain. For instance, some research shows that an increased intake of very sweet substitutes may boost ones desire for sweetened foods. Theres also no telling what the long-term impact of consuming sugar substitutes may have on the body and overall health.

Certain substitutes may have immediate concerning effects on the body. Some people, for instance, may have allergic reactions to specific substitutes. Other individuals complain that alternatives like aspartame cause headaches and may act as a trigger for migraines. Several sugar substitutes also cause gastrointestinal distress.

Why Should You Use Sugar Substitutes

Wondering why it might be wise to avoid added sugar and use substitutes instead? Excess sugar consumption is not just bad for your teeth, its also associated with high rates of diseases like diabetes. Pure sugar is high in carbohydrates, which can cause unwanted spikes in blood glucose levels.

Sugar is also high in calories without having much nutritional value, so substitutes are useful for those seeking to lose weight.

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The Problem With Sugar For Your Health

You can find added sugars in most processed foods. This includes products that companies advertise as healthy, such as cereals, granola bars, crackers, and juices.

And it can be easy to miss on the ingredient label when there are at least 61 different names for sugar ranging from cane juice to anhydrous dextrose.

Sugar is rampant in our food system. And eating too much of it is linked to many significant health concerns.

  • Consuming excessive sugar is associated with an increased risk of obesity and heart disease.
  • Sugar increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Studies indicate that added sugar increases risk for esophageal and breast cancer. And added fructose intake may increase risk of pancreatic and small intestine cancers.
  • Sugar increases risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a disorder in which excessive amounts of fat build up in your liver. Even drinking one sugar-sweetened beverage per day can increase your risk.

Refined sugar isnt an essential part of the diet. It doesnt contain vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, or protein, nor does it have any benefit in the body.

It would do your health no harm if you never consumed a gram of refined sugar.

Sugars Sugar Substitutes And Sweeteners: Natural And Artificial

The Top 5 Healthiest Sugar Substitutes

If youre living with diabetes, or even if youre not, you might think sweet foods are a barrier to your healthy, balanced diet. As a general rule, everyone should be eating less sugar but sometimes, only something sweet will do.

If want to lose weight, or youre trying to keep your blood glucose levels stable, you may want to know whether artificial sweeteners could help. If you browse around your local supermarket, youll see a huge range of sweeteners on offer, so it can be baffling to know which, if any, to go for.

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May Disrupt Your Gut Health

Research has shown that some artificial sweeteners , as well as stevia, can change the composition of your gut. If sweeteners reduce the number of good bacteria and hamper the growth of good bacteria, you may wind up with an imbalanced gut, which can lead to symptoms like cramping, gas and bloating.

This 2019 review of studies suggests that some sweeteners can have negative effects while others, specifically sugar alcohols, may have positive effects. Research in animals has also shown negative changes to gut bacteria after consumption of artificial sweeteners, though more research is needed in humans to determine the true long-term effects of sugar alternatives on gut health.

What Is The Safest Artificial Sweetener To Use

When it comes to cancer-causing substances, the less youre exposed to, the lower your risk, Lefferts says. There is not thought to be an amount that is without risk. However, the risk is extremely small when eating small amounts, like a packet or two a day.

When it comes to making changes to your diet to improve health, zero-calorie sweeteners can serve a purpose, Pfau says.

As we previously reported, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend consuming no more than 10 percent of calories from sugar. Thats about 13 teaspoons per day. The current average is 42 teaspoons.

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Can Cause Digestive Upset

Whether or not sweeteners disrupt your gut microbiome, they are known to cause unpleasant digestive symptoms. Most of this evidence is anecdotal, beginning decades ago with complaints about cramps after consuming aspartame.

Though more studies are needed to determine the relationship between alternative sweeteners and digestive distress, research does note that some digestive symptoms may be due to changes in the gut bacteria or the way that alternative sweeteners move through your digestive tract.

For now, it’s best to monitor your symptoms, if any, when you consume different sweeteners .

Read more: The FODMAP diet: How it can fix your digestive issues

Heres The Bottom Line

Benefits of MONK FRUIT SWEETENER – Safe and Healthy Sugar Substitute

The key hereas with most aspects of nutritionis: Everything in moderation, including zero-calorie, non-nutritive sweeteners like sucralose-based Splenda.

A can of diet soda or two a week likely wont cause negative long-term health effects, but research has found that diet soda drinkers not only didnt lose weight, but in many cases, they gained weight. Its unclear why this may be, but experts suggest one reason could be because people eat more knowing they didnt consume any calories through a diet drink.

Another theory is that when you taste sweetness from a zero-calorie sugar alternative, your pancreas secretes insulin to process that sugar. But because there arent any calories, your body becomes confused, disrupting the normal metabolic process.

Working with a dietitian is a good way to balance using sugar alternatives and consuming a healthy diet for a host of long-term health benefits.

As for runners who rely on sugar to fuel their muscles for workouts, choosing sucralose wont give their bodies what they need. Youre better off opting for the real thing and enjoying it in moderation or specifically on days when you need it, like a long run day.

We know our bodies need calories, Pfau says. So we should put good calories in the body.

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What Are The Problems With Eating Too Much Sugar

Blood sugar imbalances caused by excess sugar intake can manifest in different ways.There are the obvious ones that take time to develop like insulin resistance, diabetes, and obesity.And there are the less obvious silent symptoms that often go overlooked or attributed to something else.These silent symptoms do more damage than you may realize. Fluctuating mood swings, volatile energy levels, and unexplained inflammatory responses are more than just an annoying part of life.These are usually just the first signals we receive as a cry for help.Just like a “check engine” light on your vehicle, these indicators could be a warning signal that larger health concerns are looming on the horizon if left ignored.More obvious symptoms might be headaches, fatigue, and uncontrollable food cravings impact us in different ways, most notably the quality of day-to-day life.Several other chronic conditions that can be triggered by high sugar intake are as follows:- Low Immunity- Stress Increase

Acesulfame Potassium A Popular Sugar Substitute In Diet Soda

Also known as Ace-K, this nonnutritive sweetener is FDA-approved and about 200 times sweeter than sugar. Often manufacturers combine it with other sweeteners, though it is also sold for tabletop use under the brand name Sweet One. You will also find it in some of your favorite diet soft drinks, such as Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Mountain Dew. The FDA recommends an ADI of 15 mg or less of Ace-K per kilogram of body weight per day.

A 132-pound individual would need to consume 23 tabletop packets of the artificial sweetener per day to reach that limit.

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No Sugar How To Break Your Habit

No sugar or sugar substitute is healthy in excess.

Thats true whether its in soda, sweet tea, fruit drinks, packs of sugar or sugar substitute for coffee or tea, or artificially sweetened flavor packets for water, Taylor says. Drink plain water! At the very least, drink unflavored tea, coffee, bubbly water or water with fruit infused in it.

How can you break your habit? Use a true measuring spoon to gauge how much added sugar youre using daily.

Challenge yourself your foods and beverages dont always need to taste sweet, Taylor notes.

Try decreasing the sweetener in your coffee or tea by 1 teaspoon per week and start diluting juices by mixing half your usual portion with water to retain some of the sweetness. While at the grocery store, start a habit of reading labels. Much of the sugar in the American diet is found in processed and sweetened pre-made food and beverages.

That way, you wont have to quit cold turkey.

Our goal isnt to get added sugar intake down to zero because that isnt realistic, Taylor says. Americans need to work hard to drastically reduce sugar intake to support healthy weights and decrease our risk for chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

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