Artificial Sweeteners – Friend or Foe?


For a lot of people suffering from diabetic related ailments, artificial sweeteners are a God-sent. They can help you enjoy the sweetness in your food without compromising on your health. But, are they really healthy? One of the Harvard report quotes the following -

Non-nutritive sweeteners are far more potent than table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. A miniscule amount produces a sweet taste comparable to that of sugar, without comparable calories. Overstimulation of sugar receptors from frequent use of these hyper-intense sweeteners may limit tolerance for more complex tastes

 

Research suggests that they may prevent us from associating sweetness with caloric intake. As a result, we may crave more sweets, tend to choose sweet food over nutritious food, and gain weight. Participants in the San Antonio Heart Study who drank more than 21 diet drinks per week were twice as likely to become overweight or obese as people who didn’t drink diet soda.

 

Our take on this health issue is that why should we rely on artificial sweeteners, when nature has provided us so many healthy alternatives.

As this article from Natural News points out, you can always try the following natural, healthy sweeteners in place of commercial, artificial sweeteners -

  • Stevia extract. With its richness in antioxidants, no sugar content and a zero glycemic index, Stevia Extract is one of the most widely used natural sweetener. Just be sure to chose natural stevia-based sweetener over genetically modified (GMO) varities.
  • Raw, unrefined honey. Rich in enzymes, vitamins, minerals and essential acids, Honey (if available in unrefined, pure, natural form) is a great substitute for sugar. Prevention magazine recommends substituting only about one-third of the sugar for honey. For the other two-thirds, you can use a healthier, unrefined form of sugar such as evaporated cane juice or coconut sugar, both of which are high in nutrients and elicit a low glycemic index.
  • Himalayan Pink Salt. Not easily available, Himalayan Pink Salt can be added to fruits and vegetables to counter their natural biterness and bring out the sweetness from the fruit or vegetable.
  • Raw cream. It acts in a similar fashion and pink salt and brings out the natural sweetness from coffee, soup, pie and stew. You should ideally prefer raw, organic cream over supermarket cream.
  • Dates. It can be used in salad, fresh bakes and desserts to bring out natural, mild sweetness to the dish. It should be mixed with table sugar in a 1:1 ratio.

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