Hello everyone, I am back with a very interesting and relatable topic to discuss today. We all are familiar with the term Sugar Free right? It is basically a form of Artificial Sweetener, now what exactly is an artificial sweetener? Artificial sweeteners are low- or no-caloric sugar substitutes that provide little nutritional value, but then modify the flavor of foods or beverages so that they become more appealing to the consumer. Brand names in this category include Splenda, NutraSweet, and Sweet’ N Low.
How did artificial sweeteners come into production? Sugar of lead was initially used in the Medieval era as a sweetener before its toxic effects were known, the first modern artificial sweetener was saccharin. It was first synthesized in 1879. Saccharin does cause cancer in high doses in rats, but this occurs through a mechanism that is not present in humans. We are always looking for ways to cut back on the sugar intake, keep a check on our weight, etc. There are a few advantages and disadvantages of artificial sweeteners to consider.
Although an artificial sweetener is a synthetic sugar substitute, it can be made from naturally occurring substances from the environment around us. Herbs and even the sugar plants themselves can become the foundation of these items. Since they tend to be much sweeter than an actual sugar product. Artificial sweeteners are found in many processed foods because they react in a similar manner as sugar does during the baking, canning, or packaging process. You will find them in candies, baked goods, canned foods, jams, jellies, and several dairy products. They are commonly found in sweet carbonated drinks, drink mixes, and other beverages as well. Some products that contain these sweeteners might be listed as a “diet” product, but that is not a free license to over-consume. Artificial sweeteners have virtually no calories to them, even if you consume them in significant amounts are highly sophisticated, requiring only a single drop of blood, and are conveniently sized and portable. They are small enough to take with you on-the-go, and based on your comfort level, can be used anywhere at any time.
It is essential to note that artificial sweeteners are not carbohydrates. Unlike a traditional sugar, these products will not usually raise blood sugar levels during consumption. Replacing sugar with an artificial sweetener is only one step toward better health and wellness, as diet and exercise are often needed as well. An unknown benefit of artificial sweeteners is that they help in better oral health. The consumption of sugar plays a significant role in the development of tooth decay, cavities, and other issues with oral health. By removing the sweetener that can encourage bacterial growth and plaque along the gum line, it is possible to reduce the adverse impacts that we are eating and drinking habits can create. When we are consuming artificial sweeteners, then we are eating something that does not contain artificial pesticides or herbicides to promote the growth of a crop like sugarcane. We can experience this advantage if we purchase organic sugar products at the grocery store as well.
However, every product has some advantages and some disadvantages. Let’s have a look at those now. Some artificial sweeteners might provide a sugar substitute that improves the flavor of foods or beverages, but there are also some which can leave a sour aftertaste behind when consuming items that contain this product. The flavor can be distinctly unpleasant for some individuals, which means there may be a need to use a combination of artificial sweeteners or to choose a different product. During the 1970s, research studies with animals suggested that the ongoing consumption of artificial sweeteners could lead to a higher risk of cancer. Some countries went as far as banning most of the products that were on the market at the time to protect consumers. Over the next 40 years, it was discovered that the cancer-causing mechanisms in mice and rats that artificial sweeteners trigger is not present in the human population.
The sugar in products which contain artificial sweeteners is a chemical instead of a natural product. Some experts would say that this carries an increased risk of disease, including cancer, and could cause neurological problems or raise cholesterol levels by changing how the liver can process fats. Several studies also show that the regular consumption of an artificial sweetener can increase the cravings for other sweet items. It is also a common occurrence to face digestion related problems when using artificial sweeteners on a regular basis. Bloating, loose stools, and gas-related pain are the three most common side effects. It is important to remember that our health and wellness goals must involve more than just our body weight, there is an increased risk of metabolic conditions with regular consumption. This disadvantage includes problems like heart disease and metabolic syndrome.
Artificial sweeteners do not carry the dangers that we once thought they did, but that does not mean this product in any of its forms is the correct choice to make for your dietary needs. When compared to a traditional sugar, there are significant advantages to consider because of the caloric profile that these items offer. Because some of them can produce sugar alcohols as part of the digestive process, they may not be as healthy as some may realize. If you feel that artificial sweeteners are not the best choice for your health needs, you don’t need to go back to regular sugar. Molasses, maple syrup, honey, nectars, and juices can provide a natural sweetening effect for foods as well. Some of these may even have some health benefits that a lab-created product cannot offer.
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