Obesity, dental issues, and type 2 diabetes mellitus have many Americans looking to cut out processed sugar from their diet. But let’s face it, we all need our sweet fix from time to time. With many artificial sweeteners to choose from, we can reduce our calorie count without completely sacrificing the treats we love. But which kinds of sweeteners are bad for you? And which sweeteners are safer to consume?
First, some sweeteners use chemicals to replace the sweetness of sugar, which usually isn’t good for you. Recent studies have shown that artificial sweeteners may increase appetite and raise blood sugar in some people. So don’t be tricked by a ‘sugar-free’ label. Sugar-free doesn’t actually mean healthy.
Health Risks of Artificial Sweeteners
#1 Aspartame Health Risks
Examples of Aspartame include NutraSweet, Equal, NutraSweet, Canderel, Spoonfuls, and DiabetiSweet. As you may have noticed, Equal and NutraSweet are commonly offered in restaurants and coffee stations. But take heed, since aspartame is a chemical sweetener and studies have suggested its health risks include seizures, brain tumors, and hallucinations.
#2 Sucralose Health Risks
After aspartame caught a bad reputation for its health risks, many turned to Splenda assuming it was the safer substitute. But Splenda can cause a number of symptoms, including skin rashes, panic, diarrhea, headaches, bladder problems, and abdominal pain. It can also shrink the thymus glands and enlarge both the liver and kidneys.
Is Stevia Safer Than Other Sweeteners?
Generally speaking, Stevia is proving to be a safer sweetener option. Its benefits include lowering caloric intake, blood sugar, and the risk of cavities. And unlike aspartame and sucralose, Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the stevia plant (Stevia rebaudiana). Although it’s probably the safest sweetener out there, it may not be for everyone. People that are sensitive to Stevia have reported side effects like nausea, bloating, and dizziness.
Remember, the best practice is to consume anything in moderation.
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