Sweets for your sweets: A quick guide to natural and artificial sweeteners (PART I)

When you’re a weight watcher or on the look out for your sugar levels, considering what sugar alternative to consume can get sticky. Alternatives to sugar are either artificial or natural sweeteners. And whether you’re a diabetic or simply looking for the sweet stuff with fewer calories, your options — and the difference thereof — should matter to you. Here’s a quick sweetener guide to better understand the food you eat.


Artificial Sweeteners and its potential bad effects

On the grocery shelves today are food that contains either natural sweeteners or artificial sweeteners that act like sugar but contain almost no calories. First it is important that product labels clearly indicate what sugar is found in their product. Here are some of the most common artificial sweeteners and the risks involved when consuming them:


            1. Aspartame

Synthetic but calorie free, it is a hundred times sweeter than sugar. When consumed, aspartame is rumored to act as a poison in the body is linked to cause weight gain, cancer, birth defects, and even brain tumor. It is commonly found on diet sodas.


            2. Saccharin

Also free from calorie, it is known safe for diabetics despite being 300 times sweeter than sugar. Though it can have a metallic after taste, rumors that it is linked to cause cancer have not been proven.


            3. High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

Found in a lot of food and drinks today,. It is a very common synthetic sweetener. It is a liquid derivative of cornstarch and studies suggest that it can lead to overeating because it hinders the release of the hormones in the body that lets us know when we’re full, tricking your body to eat more.


More about NATURAL SWEETENERS with next week’s part 2 post.