Natural sweeteners exist or are producedby nature, without added chemicals orfancy machinery. The only sugars that areoptimal to eat are wild, non-hybridized,seeded fruits, and the natural sugars andstarches in living vegetables, trees, seeds,nuts, and roots. The following areconsidered natural sweeteners: maplesyrup, honey, stevia, molasses, coconutsugar, date sugar, agave nectar and xylitol.
People with diabeteshave difficulty regulating their blood sugarlevels. By limiting their sugar intake withalternative natural sweeteners, they can enjoy avaried diet while closely controlling theirsugar intake. Also, some sugar substitutesdo release energy, but are metabolizedmore slowly, allowing blood sugar levelsto remain more stable over time.
Reactive hypoglycemia – individualswith reactive hypoglycemia will producean excess of insulin after quickly absorbingglucose into the bloodstream. This causestheir blood glucose levels to fall below theamount needed for proper body and brainfunction.
Artificial sweeteners which are also called sugar substitutes, alternative sweeteners, or non-sugar sweeteners, are substances used to replace sugar in foods and beverages. They are one of the manytypes of food additives that are applied toimprove food color, taste, texture,appearance and durability. They arecommonly used to replace natural sugar, sothat the negative effects that are associatedwith sugar intake can be significantlyreduced.
There are two types of artificialsweeteners:
- Non-caloric sweetenerscontain no calories, and they are the mainingredient in many foods and drinks. Thesesweeteners don't cause cavities, andtherefore, they're widely considered abetter option than natural sugar.
- Sugaralcohols, on the other hand, contain thesame amount of calories as natural sugar,and they're commonly used in chewinggums, candies and throat lozenges.Nevertheless, they still cause fewer dentalproblems than regular sugar.
The use of artificial sweeteners hasbecome controversial due to the healtheffects that are experienced by people whoconsume them. For a number of years, artificial sweeteners were a popular ingredient for the manufacturing of food, but theirpopularity started to decline after consumers discovered that they have negative health effects. There is recorded evidence showingthat Aspartame, a non-caloric artificialsweetener, can lead to seizures, headachesand attention deficit disorders. Somepeople experience heart palpitations,constipation and swelling of certain bodyparts after consuming this artificialsweetener.In some cases, regular intake of artificialsweeteners has resulted in addiction. Somepeople have developed an addiction fordiet cokes and other sweetened drinks dueto the addition of sweeteners.
It’s still a goodidea to avoid using artificial sweeteners,since the disadvantages clearly outweighthe advantages.
Several alternatives to artificialsweeteners include natural sweeteners suchas agave nectar, Stevia, Xylitol and rawhoney. Some of these natural sweetenershave medicinal qualities. Stevia, from theStevia plant, is known to be beneficial fordiabetics, as it doesn’t spike blood sugarlevels.