What You Need to Know About Chemical Sweeteners

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no-sweeteners-updatedWhat You Need to Know About Chemical Sweeteners

What’s the deal with chemical sweeteners? Just because they have zero calories doesn’t mean they aren’t taking away from your body. I was inspired to share more about chemical sweeteners after one of my close friends innocently poured two packets of Splenda into her latte. So you are informed, below are chemical sweeteners to look out for and why you should avoid them.

Aspartame

  • Chemical sweetener found in Nutrasweet
  • Directly affects the brain and has shown to be associated with epilepsy, Parkinson’s and brain tumors
  • Linked with stomachaches and other digestive issues
  • Found in sugar free gum, yogurt, low fat products, diet sodas

Sucralose

  • Chemical ingredient found in Splenda
  • Made from chlorinating sugar; chlorine consumption has shown to cause immune suppression, and has negatively affected the cardiovascular and respiratory systems of lab animals
  • Interferes with functioning of the thyroid which helps regulate metabolism 
  • A recent study investigated Sucralose to measure whether or not it reduced hunger and kept blood sugars balanced. They found that it does not. See article here: Splenda: The ‘Other’ Sweetener That’s Made from Sugar, but Is Closer to DDT

Saccharin

  • Chemical found in Sweet & Low
  • Banned in Canada after it was found to increase bladder cancer
  • The FDA used to require that foods containing saccharin be labeled but it was reversed after lobbyists lobbied for it’s removal

Is There An Alternative?

So you’re probably thinking, I can’t eat regular cane sugar and I can’t use chemical sweeteners, so what do I do about my sweet tooth? Check out these natural sweeteners below to indulge your sweet tooth in a nutritious way that will not deplete you. 

Coconut sugar

  • Low glycemic
  • High in nutrients
  • High in fiber
  • Has a delicious taste like brown sugar and can be substituted in equal parts to sugar in recipes

Brown Rice Syrup

  • Low glycemic
  • High in fiber
  • Has caramel like taste but not too sweet
  • Great for homemade energy bars and caramel popcorn

Yacon Syrup

  • Low glycemic
  • Promotes healthy prebiotic and probiotic activity
  • Yacon is a sweet tasting tuberous root grown in the Andes

Xylitol

  • Prevents dental caries
  • Comes from a corn husk or a tree birch
  • Great in gum or candy-like treats

Stevia

  • Comes from a leaf, South American herb
  • Available in leaf, liquid and powder form
  • Great in smoothies, chia pudding, baking Post written by Brittany Carlson

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