In 1879, the first artificial sweetener was discovered. Now they are a popular staple in the average the American diet. Before much research, they seemed like good alternatives to granulated sugar and other refined sweeteners. However, the more these are studied, the more it seems that they are a bad idea and have some nasty side effects. Anything from headaches to weight gain to serious conditions such as heart disease have been documented.
Furthermore, artificial sweeteners can be very addictive. Because they pack a powerfully sweet punch, it can lead to the taste buds wanting sweeter and sweeter foods. These sweeteners lack calories which leads many people to think that they are healthier choices. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, many people will simply search for something else to fulfill their hunger because their artificially sweetened item did not meet their needs.
It is surprising to see where these sweeteners hide. They aren’t all in the little container sitting on the table at your local diner. Toothpaste, mouthwash, chewable vitamins, cough syrup, gum, frozen yogurt, processed snacks, processed cereal, ‘lite’ beverages, salad dressing and so much more are all places artificial sweeteners sneak into.
Some healthy alternatives to artificial sweeteners are; maple syrup, coconut sugar, stevia, fruit purees, honey. You can also add flavors such as vanilla, cocoa, almond, or cinnamon to change up the flavor every once in a while.
Artificial sweeteners have sparked a huge controversy in the recent years. This is why there will be two parts to this topic! The first part will talk about the basics of artificial sweeteners; what they are made of, common sources, and how they affect weight loss journeys. Stay tuned for part two, which will cover the common artificial sweeteners found in the average diet and the detriments to each.
Too Busy Bullets
- Artificial sweeteners can cause a variety of side effects; anything from weight gain to headaches.
- Look at the label of the next packaged, canned, boxed, or remade food you buy. You'd be surprised where artificial sweeteners can hide.
- Stick with natural sources if you are cravings some extra flavor; honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cocoa powder etc.
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