People have been debating the true health benefits of artificial sweeteners since sugar replacements have hit the market. From diet sodas to packets of Splenda, sugar substitutes have become ubiquitous. Listed below are some of the positives and negatives of both sugar and artificial sweeteners to help you weigh your options.
PRO: Most artificial sweeteners taste exactly like sugar, but without the calories. This allows you to consume these products minus the negative effects that added sugars have on the body.
CON: Most artificial sweeteners consist of chemicals created by manufactured molecules, or molecules that cannot be found in a natural setting. Although sweeteners such as Aspartame and Neotame have been approved for use in the U.S., scientists are still trying to understand the health effects of the chemicals in artificial sweeteners on the human body. Some studies have shown concerning results in lab animals; however, more tests need to be done to see how these results translate when looking at human consumption of these artificial sweeteners.
PRO: Although these sugars are not the same as the natural sugars you may find in fruits or carbohydrates, added sugars are still natural chemicals that have just been added to make the product sweeter. This allows you to bypass the concerns and worries of the manufactured chemical makeup of artificial sweeteners.
CON: Added sugars contribute to an excess number of calories in a person’s daily calorie intake. On average, adults are consuming 380 calories a day just from drinking soda or eating sweets. Not only does added sugar increase the number of calories one consumes in a day, it also increases the amount of fat on the body. This increase in calorie consumption and fat is directly linked to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes and weight gain.
Limit Sugar in Your Diet
Whether you decide artificial sweeteners or added sugar is the best choice for you, remember to consume these things in moderation. If you are able to do so, the detrimental effects of both substances are less likely to affect you, and you will be able to enjoy the best of both worlds.