If you’re trying to cut down on the amount of sugar you eat, A good place to start is by looking for the words “sugar-free” on labels when you do your shopping. But, do you know what those words really mean? And, are you sure that skipping sugar is the right thing for your diet? We suggest you keep reading.
First of all, just because the label reads “sugar-free,” it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the healthiest choice. Most likely, the sugars have been replaced with artificial sweeteners that come along with their own set of concerns. These sweeteners come in all different, funny-sounding names. Perhaps you know that saccharin and sucralose are sweeteners, but did you know acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and advantame are artificial sugars as well
Products with these sugar-substitutes may be intensely sweet and leave a strong aftertaste. That is because they are many times stronger than natural sweeteners and sugars.
There are a few benefits of artificial sweeteners.
You use less
Since the additives are many times stronger than natural sugar, you don’t need to use as much to get the desired sweetness.
Artificial sugars add almost zero calories to your diet. Compare that with table sugar which has 4 calories per teaspoon and you’ll easily see why people opt for the man-made stuff
Table sugar has been known to raise blood pressure. So people who live with diabetes have found artificial sweeteners to be a welcome alternative. Be sure to check with a doctor or dietitian before making any health or dietary substitutions.
Concerns with artificial sweeteners
There is a widespread concern that artificial sugars can cause health problems. That fear most likely comes from a study done in the 1970s that linked saccharin to bladder cancer in lab rats. Since then, there has been no conclusive evidence that saccharin or any other artificial sweetener causes cancer or any other serious medical issues.
The Food and Drug Administration published an accepted daily intake chart for artificial sweeteners. These numbers represent the maximum amount considered to be safe each day over the course of a lifetime. They are about 100 times smaller than the amount that smallest amount that has been shown to cause health concerns.