Understanding Sugar Substitutes: What You Need to Know

artificial sweetener

Whether we acknowledge it or not, it’s hard to live without sugar. It’s hard to resist, especially when many delicious foods contain them, such as ice cream, cake, soda, and many other junk foods. 

Even if you’re part of the health-conscious population, it will take a lot of willpower to resist the temptation of eating sugar. Luckily, there are healthier, better ways of consuming sweet food, and that’s by using artificial sweeteners. 

As the name implies, artificial sweeteners are sweeteners that are artificially made. Foods that contain artificial sweeteners are typically marketed as “sugar-free” or “diet,” like colas. To understand more about sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners, read below.

More about Sugar Substitutes

Artificial sweeteners are substances that you can use to sweeten food instead of using the regular table sugar, which contains sucrose.

The funny thing about sugar substitutes is that they are a bit of a grey area in themselves. Some are naturally occurring, while others are subjected to a small amount of refinement. To cut a long story short, the term “sugar substitute” is pretty much open to interpretation.

Naturally-Occurring Sweeteners

Natural sweeteners are healthier options for you to choose as a sugar substitute. However, since they are naturally occurring, they still have to undergo a little bit of refinement. Below are some examples of natural sweeteners:

  • Honey
  • Fruit juice
  • Maple syrup 
  • Molasses 

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are made artificially, as the name implies. They can have little to no calorie content instead of natural sweeteners that can carry moderate amounts of calories. Artificial sweeteners are commonly used in the following foods such as:

  • Candy
  • Baked goods
  • Beverages, such as soft drinks and powdered drink mixes
  • Puddings
  • Canned food
  • Jams

The Benefits of Artificial Sweeteners

Since artificial sweeteners are artificial, they offer a wide range of health benefits. These include:

Prevention of Tooth Decay

Sugar can affect your teeth’s health. When eating food with table sugar, the sugar’s molecules combine with the saliva, which leads to bacteria buildup in the mouth. When bacteria build up in the mouth, it can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Since artificial sweeteners don’t have the properties of table sugar, it prevents you from getting tooth decay and catching cavities.

Lesser Risk of Diabetes

Artificial sweeteners don’t contain carbohydrates, and since they’re carb-free, they don’t raise blood sugar levels which contributes to a lesser risk of getting diabetes. However, if you indeed have diabetes and are looking to find alternatives to sugar, it’s best to consult your doctor first.

Weight Control

As stated earlier, artificial sweeteners carry little to no calories. As a result, consuming artificial sweeteners doesn’t add to your weight. If you’re trying to lose weight or prevent weight gain without sacrificing your sweet tooth, eating food with added artificial sweeteners is the way to go.

Sweeter Than Sugar

Okay, this isn’t exactly a benefit, but it’s still worth taking note of this. Artificial sweeteners are a lot sweeter than traditional table sugar. Not only is it healthier, but you’ll also be doing yourself a favor by indulging your sweet tooth’s desire to eat something sweet.

Conclusion

Artificial sweeteners have many benefits, but they don’t work like magic. When using artificial sweeteners, moderation is still the key. In the long run, however, you’ll be taking care of yourself when using artificial sweeteners since they are healthier.

Eating healthy is the key to a happy life. For more health-related advice, you can always consult a free health newsletter. Luckily, The Skinny is readily available for your perusal! We are committed to giving you health-related news and advice, and all you have to do is to sign up on our website. Register now!

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