All of us are bond to feel the urge to have something sweet at some point in life. It is what gives us a push to feel better, as sugar does have that effect. But then sugar also has many side effects which can make it problematic. In that case, we opt for artificial sweeteners. But here’s a question: are artificial sweeteners better than sugar?
This has been on the minds of many. It does offer the same level of sweetness . But it does so without the added calories to it. If there is one thing about them , they help in cutting out and reducing added sugars in your diet.
And when this happens, it will help you to maintain a healthier weight. But how does it impact your diet overall? And how is it impacting in keeping you safe from different diseases like heart diseases and diabetes?
We will look into all of this and analyze how good is it to have artificial sweeteners in your diet in the long run.
So let’s start:
What Are Artificial Sweeteners?
So these are what you will call as sugar substitutes. They have been around for quite a while. And are actually chemicals which taste like sweet. But they don’t have the same properties as sweets.
People call them as intense sweeteners. They can provide a similar taste to sugars but they don’t count as having the same calories.
Now you would be confused and would want to know how does this mechanism work then? Let’s look into that:
How Artificial Sweeteners Work?
When talking about sweetness, it is basically an interesting mechanism in which your taste buds act as taste receptors.
They are prone to trying out the different food molecules. And when they do, this sends a signal to the brain. It identifies the taste. And if it is something sweet, your brain identifies that level of sweetness.
Artificial sweeteners taste and have the same structure as sugar molecules. But they don’t have the same calories. This means you are not consuming those complex compounds. And so your body is not breaking down any calories.
Now before moving forward, let me touch upon a bit on natural sweeteners and how do they differ.
So these basically are also what we call sugar substitutes. They are what many call as the healthy option as compared to sugar or any other sugar substitutes. But there is a catch to using them as well.
These types are actually coming in a processed or refined form. And when this happens they too will be losing their healthy perspective. This is because when they are in a refined format, they are actually going through a major process of getting refined.
But, many health specialists still consider it to be a better option. And when we talk of natural sweeteners, some of the most common kinds are:
- Fruit juices
- Maple syrup
- Brown sugar
There are a few others are well in the market but it is not quite possible to know about all of them and reap their benefits.
Learn more about Natural Sugar Vs. Refined here.
Deriving from Natural Substances
While these are considered as good, artificial sweeteners are better than sugar because they are known to be what we call synthetic sugar substitutes.
And also when these are being derived from naturally occurring substances, than it makes them all the more of a better choice. You would notice how some are also called as intense sweeteners.
This is because they are sweeter than sugar itself. But again since they are not adding into your calorie count, it makes them a better and more preferred choice.
Opting Over Sugar
Natural sweeteners are one of the most popular choices to sweetening your food and drinks. It is used in home recipes as well as in processed foods. Some people may also call them as ‘added sugar’. But are they really?
They are actually considered as healthier than sugar. However their vitamins and mineral count isn’t much different.
One major thing you should know is that you need to have everything in moderation. Nothing is good when it is taken in access. While having them in moderation keeps you healthy, it is not essentially ensuring that you are in optimal condition and health.
Be wise about your consumption tactics. Only take in what is needed and don’t overdo it in any way.
So what are the major uses of artificial sweeteners. Let’s look into those:
Uses of Artificial Sweeteners
This is basically relating to how you can make use of these artificial sweeteners to satisfy your taste buds. You can also make use of them in processed foods, so to bring more flavors into the dishes you are making. So let’s look into some of the things in which you can make use of these sugar substitutes:
- Soft drinks including powdered drink mixes as well as other beverages
- Baked goods
- Candy of various kind
- Canned foods
- Dairy Products
People also make sue of them in different home usage. This also includes baking and cooking.
So now that I have talked about how artificial sweeteners act and how artificial sweeteners better than sugar, I want you to also understand the kind of health benefits they also provide.
Health Benefits of Artificial Sweeteners
When we talk about making use of artificial sweeteners, I also want you to now how they are known to provide some health benefits too:
The major benefit of course is how you are able to have better weight management. This is because artificial sweeteners do not have any calories. So if your aim is to lose weight, or to prevent any weight gain, you can make use of the option of artificial sweeteners. But the effectiveness of the same is something that can actually differ from one person to another.
Read the Labels
There are various products in the market too which advertise as being no sugar, 100% natural and the healthy choice. You may think you have won the lottery but there is some catch.
Be aware of your decisions and know that there are usually hidden sugars there. You just don’t see them as yet.
Make it a habit to read the labels and identify the ingredients before you are consuming anything. It allows you to be completely sure of what is going inside your body. Make wise decisions.
Also artificial sweeteners better than sugar because they are able to make you have a control over your carbohydrates intake. This is because artificial sweeteners are not what we consider as sugar so they are not carbohydrates. This will not raise your blood sugar levels. However before you decide on making a decision and making use of artificial sweeteners instead of sugar. As there may be some other complications and issues which you should be clear off.
Effects on Appetite
So there is a certain belief that artificial sweeteners can actually increase your appetite. And this can promote weight gain too.
The problem is that with some artificial sweeteners , there is a certain after taste too. Also since they are not really sugar and have zero calories, they can also confuse the brain. This means you will not be so sure whether you are still hungry or no.
In some cases, people suggest how they end up eating more of artificial sweetened elements as compared to natural sugar food items. As there are less calories so they end up consuming more. But this too can serve as a problem for later.
Triggering Health Problems?
When it comes to your health, it turns out that artificial sweeteners can also come up with some unpleasant symptoms.
These can vary from one person to another. But some of the common issues that can arise include headaches, depression as well as seizures in the body.
There have been studies which suggest how artificial sweeteners can actually trigger certain mood disorders but that has yet to be looked into and identified. They also don’t increase seizure risks and may cause issues owing to other various medical complications.
Artificial sweeteners have been around for ages. People have been using them for several reasons. They are known to help a person who is trying to lose weight.
Also they are really good when it comes to trying to have a blood sugar control and can also help when it comes to combating dental issues like tooth cavity, teeth erosion, among other things.
But is it really the better option to make use of artificial sweeteners? Can it be providing plenty to your diet. Are artificial sweeteners better than sugar?
Turns out it may have certain negative aspects but it is also good when it comes to combating health conditions. Some people may feel that they need to change from sugar diet to this as it is providing certain benefits.
However you need to make that analysis yourself. And decide what works for you best and what does not.