The thought can be tempting: enjoy all the sweetness of sugar with none of the calories by substituting artificial sweeteners in place of sugar. Unfortunately, this sweet sounding idea is simply too good to be true.
Sugar vs Sweeteners
While artificial sweeteners do provide a sweet taste, they won’t do you any favours when you are going sugar free. If you have been struggling to live a sugar free lifestyle, artificial sweeteners just may be part of the problem.
Find out why you should go sugar free sweetener free below!
Why Aren’t Artificial Sweeteners a Smart Option?
From a health standpoint, the jury is still out on sugar free substitutes. While they are officially listed as being generally safe, study after study points to the risks of these sweet poisons. Many of the negatives of sugar consumption people wish to avoid by going sugar free are actually risks associated with sugar free sugars as well– sometimes with even greater consequences than sugar itself!
For example, people who consume artificial sweeteners have been shown to be at a greater risk for developing metabolic syndrome, a precursor to developing Type II Diabetes. Additionally, consuming artificial sweeteners has been linked with an increased risk for heart disease, though more research is needed to establish why this increased risk exists. Further, artificial sweetener users tend to gain more weight and are at heightened risk for obesity and thus all of the health problems that come with carrying around excess weight.
Beyond these potential health risks, using artificial sweeteners is counterproductive to your goal of going sugar free. It can actually sabotage all of your efforts to cut sugar from your diet! That’s right; because artificial sweeteners like saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose are hundreds and hundreds of times sweeter than table sugar they can actually trick your brain and your taste buds into craving more sugar.
When you become accustomed to the extremely sweet taste given by artificial sweeteners, it becomes hard for you to recognise the sweetness in healthy, natural foods like fruits. Even worse, you crave more and more sugar to get the extreme sweet taste you become accustomed to when you are using artificial sweeteners, making it harder than ever to avoid sugar.
What Are Better Sweet Options?
Now you know that sweeteners are not the way to go when you go sugar free, you may be wondering what you should do. Don’t worry, there are plenty of great options.
The first step is just to give yourself time. It takes your taste buds time to adjust to the absence of added sugars and sweeteners. In time you will begin to notice and enjoy the naturally sweet taste of things like fruit, and though it may sound impossible now, things with added sugars or sweeteners will actually taste too sweet.
To help yourself along in the process of going sugar free, begin to collect recipes you enjoy preparing and eating that don’t call for sugar or artificial sweeteners. A search for “sugar free recipes no artificial sweeteners” should give you plenty of results from which to choose. Don’t be afraid to experiment as you find your new and healthier substitutes.
Don’t give up on your sugar free living goals and don’t let anything, including artificial sweeteners, get in your way! You can do it!