In this day and age, artificial sweeteners are used in so many foods, gums, drinks and candies that it’s hard to know if you’re eating real sugar or some sort of sugar alcohol or aspartame. Artificial sweeteners are even used in gums that are not “sugar free”. They are also used in some ice creams, candies, pastries and more as a sort of binding agent.
Personally, I believe that stevia is the healthiest alternative, and I use a stevia sweetening alternative. It’s lower in sugars and carbs, and adds a nice sweet, non-chemical taste to you food or coffee. It’s also plant derived, and has no known negative effects on the body.
So, if you’re trying really hard to avoid these types of sweeteners, what you have to do is really become a die-hard label reader. Look for any ingredient that ends in the three letters “tol”. So, malitol and sorbitol are two sweeteners that would immediately come to mind.
What’s wrong with artificial sweeteners?
Well, there’s a lot wrong with them. Not only are many of them implicated cancers of various kinds, but they have also been implicated in weight gain. That’s right, the exact thing that people who typically use artificial sweeteners want to avoid is the very thing it may contribute to.
Why would artificial sweeteners make you put on weight? Well, many scientists believe that these fake sugars actually make your body crave more sugar and more carbohydrates. It’s almost better just to have the sugar because your body knows what it wants, and when it doesn’t get the thing it craves, it rebels against us and makes you want it more.
In other words, those artificial sweeteners aren’t faking out your super smart body. No sir, your body knows what real sugar is, and it processes it differently. It has different effects on the brain and the blood sugar, and your body definitely can tell the difference when you’re trying to pull a fast one.
Fake sweeteners also have been linked to a host of health issues. This includes migraines, allergic reactions, rashes, headaches, irritability, gastrointestinal distress, stomach aches and more. Who wants all this in exchange for a little bit of something that doesn’t come close to substituting for what we really want – good ol’ fashioned sugar.
If you want a slightly more healthy version, try unrefined “raw” sugar. This is slightly healthier simply because it is not as processed. You can also try to only fortify your diet with natural sugars from whole foods like fruits. This way, the fiber and vitamins in the fruit slow the digestion of the sugar and don’t cause a mess with your blood sugar levels.