Artificial Sweeteners vs. Natural Sugar Substitutes

Artificial sweeteners often receive largely negative attention due to their chemical compositions. Natural sugar alternatives such as agave nectar, honey and other plant derived sweeteners serve as healthy, less questionable sources of flavor.

Debate Information

Many artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin, sucralose and acesulfame K have received approval from the Food and Drug Administration. However, the road to approval for some of the substitutes included much backlash from the public and private sector. Science eventually overturned negative and false studies once linked to the use of artificial sweeteners.

In many cases, groups of scientists believed artificial sweeteners directly caused cancers, lymphomas and types of leukemia. Aspartame, for example, underwent major researches in order to disprove such claims, eventually gaining support from cancer institute groups and the Food and Drug Administration.

Several FDA approved artificial sweetening options remain on the market today. These sweeteners have shown no link in health deficiencies or damages since their approvals.

The Big Difference

Unlike artificial sweeteners, natural sweetening alternatives like honey and agave nectar get extracted through plant parts and animal byproducts. These sweeteners provide lower insulin resistance than artificial sweeteners, which offer complete resistance to the helpful and natural hormone. This term, insulin resistance, refers to the lacking amount of metabolic hormone that gets released in your body after consuming food. Insulin helps regulate appetite and a healthy metabolic rate.

This key difference between natural sweeteners and artificial varieties often causes consumers to choose either plain sugar or the natural alternative. People struggle to understand the impact of insulin in the body, which serves as a crucial mistake. The artificial sweeteners have the ability to make you feel a constant state of hunger because the metabolic hormone remains inactive in the body. In other terms, eating foods with artificial sweeteners often gets labeled as consuming empty calories.

Natural or Artificial

Although neither of the sugar substitutes, natural or artificial, pose major health risks when you consume them in appropriately suggested amounts, you will more than likely base your decision on your dietary goals.

Those looking to consume fewer total calories will benefit from artificial sweeteners, since most contain low to literally no calories at all. The artificial options lead to larger and more intense sweetening tastes compared to most artificial sweeteners mostly due to their chemical compositions; artificial sweeteners like aspartame provide roughly 200 times the amount of sweetness than conventional table sugar.

On the other hand, your body naturally responds to plant derived sugars. Much speculation regarding artificial sweeteners involves the body’s inability to appropriately digest the chemically engineered compounds. Humans have consumed things like agave nectar, syrups and honey for numerous decades. The sugars provided by natural sweetening choices easily breakdown into energy when your pancreas releases insulin after consuming small, recommended amounts. Natural sources of sugars do in fact contain higher amounts of calories in most cases, though some plant derived sources like rebaudioside A from the stevia leaf offer low or no calories at all.

Most natural sugar substitutes have low glycemic index ratings, providing healthy substitutes to conventional sugars and refined sucrose sources.


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