Are Artificial Sweeteners Better Than Sugar?

sugar or artificial sweetner substitutes?

Whether or not artificial sweeteners are actually a healthier alternative to sugar has been a question scientists have been studying for a long time.  The topic is still undergoing research and is an ongoing problem for everyday health.  Products such as Aspartame (Equal) were once said to cause cancer, but the National Cancer Institute of Health is now saying that may not be the case.  There is no longer clear evidence to support that claim, and artificial sweeteners that were once banned by the FDA were put back on the market.   Some other examples of artificial sweeteners are saccharin (Sweet’ N low), sucralose (Splenda), and acesulfame potassium (Sunett).

Saying that artificial sweeteners are worse because they are manufactured is not the total truth either.  Natural Sweeteners such as agave, honey, and molasses are refined and processed in similar ways to table sugar.  The real difference is how your body undergoes processing each sweetener.  The human body does not have great sensitivity to sugar taste.  However, artificial sweeteners are more easily detected, and that is why Sweet’ N Low is much sweeter tasting than sugar.

A consequence in ingesting too much of the artificial sweeteners in everyday food and drink are that the bodies’ way of handling real sugar could be disrupted. The man-made sweeteners have no nutritional value or function and only trick your body into thinking it is sugar. There is no regulatory process needed to get rid of it.  Actual sugar requires hormones such as insulin to regulate in the blood, and may not work as well if the system has become dependent on not responding. This negative effect could actually make losing weight harder, which is the usual reason for using sugar substitutes.

Another interesting fact to consider is that artificial sweeteners do not cause cavities and tooth decay like sugar does.  So although there are some cons, alternatives for sugar may not be as bad as we once thought.  Just remember, most everything exceeding moderation can potentially be harmful.

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