This topic seems to be an ongoing debate. Manufacturers vs the public and even public vs public debates take place on whether or not artificial sweeteners are dangerous to our health and which ones are dangerous and which are not.
Or should we be eating real sugar instead of drinks and food filled with artificial sweeteners?
This article will shed a little light on the facts of artificial sweeteners and hopefully give this topic a little clarity. It will also touch on real sugar and the implications of consuming it.
(The solution is towards the end of this article)
Aaron E. Carroll a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine published an article one the NYTimes.com website stating facts and science on artificial sweeteners and sugar.
Research that he presented has been that the studies with artificial sweeteners have been flawed to some extent in that the subjects were already at risk for certain cancers, studies were conducted on rats and were never able to be replicated in humans. Some human studies were conducted on individuals 70 or older who were not avid consumers of aspartame.
He disputes much of the logic in many of the research studies that have been conducted and what the media has taken as absolute fact and run with it. His conclusion is artificial sweeteners used in normal volume are all safe to consume and that that there is no evidence to support any health risks.
On the other side of the table you have health professionals such as Dr. Mercola who strongly advises against any type of artificial sweetener and has written many articles on the harmful side effects of artificial sweeteners. Most of his topics seem to focus on weight gain and insulin sensitivity.
So is this topic getting more clarity or is it more confusing than ever?
Hang with me and I will summarize it at the end so that it is clear.
So if we are on the side of no artificial sweeteners then what is the alternative?
There is real sugar or alternative sweeteners such as fructose, agave and honey.
Are they any healthier for us though?
The science is pretty clear on sugar. If you consume too much of this nutrient it will lead to a host of health problems. Consuming too much means not only large quantities in one feeding, but also the ratio of sugars to protein and fats in your meal. A disproportionate amount of sugar with a meal will still lead to elevated blood sugars, higher than normal insulin response and most likely an increased storage of these calories as fat.
The result with long term over-consumption is glucose intolerance, insulin sensitivity, increased weight gain, potential diabetes, and increased risk for heart disease.
In the video below Dr. Walsh discusses if alternative natural sweeteners are any better for us.
Is This Any Clearer For You?
I am going to venture to say no way is it any clearer. It sure seems like we are not left with any options and whichever side we take could lead to health problems down the road for us.
Do we throw our arms up in the air and say “I give up”?
Here is what we can do. Rather than pick a side and eat all artificial sweeteners or eat all natural sugars how about we limit our intake of both of them.
It really isn’t that hard to do either.
Selecting flavorful recipes and a variety of different foods brings out those natural sweeteners and flavors to satisfy our taste buds without having to add natural sugars to the recipe or artificial sweeteners.
Here are some recipes that will satisfy your flavor requirements without artificial sweeteners or added sugar.
This way our intake of extra sugar and artificial sweeteners is limited and since the research is based on large consumption of these nutrients we don’t have to worry about them because even if we do eat some added sugar or a food that has artificial sweetener in it our amounts are so low and infrequent that our risk for health problems down the road is extremely low.
Let me know if this article has made it clearer for you on what you should do or if I just confused the heck out of you. Leave your comments below please.
If you are looking for more healthy recipes like the ones I listed above I have 197 more for you. They are broken down into breakfast (18 recipes), lunch/dinner (111 recipes), vegetarian (57 recipes) and even desserts (11 recipes).
Include more recipes like this into your diet and you will never have to worry about the artificial sweetener vs sugar debate again. You will be eating healthy and your consumption of these two ingredients will be so low that your risk level will very low as well.
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