A quick summary of conclusions regarding sweeteners is outlined below.
More detailed information is available throughout the website and a full
listing of sweeteners is contained on the All Sweetener Page.
Fructose (Fruit sugar) is harmful if consumed in even moderate quantities. It increases appetite and causes increased LDL (bad cholesterol) , elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure.High fructose corn syrup should be avoided. It contains more fructose than ordinary sugar, and also contains it in a different form.Agave Syrup is 92% pure fructose and should be avoided. It is a harmful substance.Pure fruit juice, even freshly squeezed should be avoided. Pear juice is very high in fructose, but so is apple juice and orange juice. Eat raw fruit instead. Same goes for honey, a spoon or two per day is enough!Not all artificial sweeteners are harmful. Saccharin has been used for 120 years and no side effects have been reported in humans. It is probably reasonable to say that it is safe. Asulfame K and Cyclamate also appear to be safe.Aspartame is the worst artificial sweetener and should be avoided by anyone who values their health. Just do a google search to see how many people have suffered after consuming this harmful substance.Splenda (Sucralose) has been reported to cause side effects in some, though not all, people. Check carefully before deciding if this product is suitable for you.New zero calorie natural sweeteners such as Stevia and Monk Fruit are being developed. PureVia and Truvia are now available in supermarkets, and other exciting products are on the way.
Consumption of refined sugar is too high and is causing health problems including diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome and tooth decay. Moderation is the key.Xylitol is a useful alternative to sugar. It tastes good, has a low glycemic index and is beneficial to dental hygiene.Certain sweeteners have a prebiotic effect. This means that they promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. The list includes Xylitol, Erythritol, Inulin and Yacon Syrup. However moderation is important.Yacon Syrup is one of the best sweeteners available, though it is expensive and difficult to obtain. It is a raw, natural and healthy sweetener low in calories and with a low glycemic index. It is also a very good prebiotic.Care needs to be taken regarding excessive consumption of sugar alcohols. Although they have certain benefits if consumed in moderate amounts, excessive consumption can cause cramps etc in certain individuals. (The same goes for a high fiber diet.)Processed foods contain ever increasing quantities of sweeteners of all types as well as many other undesirable ingredients. Many have reduced fat content in an attempt to appear healthy. But the fat has been replaced in many cases with sugar, or worse still, high fructose corn syrup. Best to limit consumption.There is really no healthy, inexpensive and safe sweetener available that tastes just like sugar. Some such as Stevia are good, but do not taste like sugar. Others such as Xylitol or Erythritol taste good and appear safe, but can cause bloating and cramps if consumed in excessive quantities.Moderation and balance is the key. A good diet low in processed foods is the way forward. Sound easy doesn’t it!
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