Artificial Sweeteners – Better than Sugar?
Artificial sweeteners are not a great alternative to refined sugar. Overwhelming evidence points to their contribution to obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disease, metabolic syndrome, depression, chronic headaches, and cancer.
These sweeteners include:
- Aspartame (Equal®, NutraSweet®)
- Splenda (sucralose)
- High fructose corn syrup
- Sweet ‘n’ Low (saccharin)
Natural sugar sources like honey, maple syrup, fruits, and molasses add nutrients as well as sweetness. Relatively low on the glycemic index as compared with refined sugars, they are not only safe to use but promote wellness.
Additionally, because of their nutrition, they are more satisfying than refined sugars to fulfill the desire for a sweet taste, preventing over-consumption:
- Honey (raw and unpasteurized) – a superfood that is anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, and packed with nutrients and antioxidants.
- Maple syrup – kills cancer cells; rich in minerals, anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, and unique phytochemicals that benefit human health.
- Molasses – mineral-rich, including calcium, iron, potassium, selenium, and magnesium.
- Fruit juice (real juice from fruit without added sugar) – high in natural sugars but contains lots of vitamins and minerals.
Click here for a short guide on sweeteners, natural and otherwise.
How to Recover from Sugar Addiction
If you’re addicted to sugar, there are ways to wean yourself from it. You’ll notice the difference in how you feel pretty quickly.
Depending on how much added/artificial sugar you’re used to consuming in a day and how long you’ve done so, you may actually experience withdrawal symptoms. (20) Like any other addiction, your body will respond to the absence of sugar:
- Changes in appetite/food cravings
- Impulsive behaviors
- Weight loss