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Not So Sweet!!!

Drinking 12 Oz of regular Coke with 140 calories is a big no when compared with Diet Coke which contains zero calories. Do you know, what makes the Diet Coke sweet without adding any sugar? What offers the perfect sweet-luscious taste to the products with zero sugar content? Chemists and Researchers from all around the world invented the miraculous sweeteners that could help people to satisfy their sweet tooth even if they are suffering from diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved only five artificial sweeteners, namely, Saccharin, Acesulfame, Aspartame, Neotame, and Sucralose along with one natural low-calorie sweetener Stevia – a plant with an intensely sweet taste and is used to sweeten beverages and tea since 16th century. Now the Indian market is booming with these artificial sweeteners and is used in different food products to make the product wholesome and diabetic friendly for consumers.

Well, one should not have to wait till we get diabetic. To lead a healthy life, consuming sugary products should be avoided as this would lead to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease risk and high blood pressure. Sugar is highly addictive; in no time your sweet tooth could turn into a harmful delight.

Though artificial sweeteners may not taste like same as natural sugar, but they can satisfy cravings. Even among artificial sweeteners, there are good and bad ones, so always choose your sweeteners wisely.

Below we discuss some more in details about these sweeteners.

1. Stevia

Stevia is the most popular form of artificial sweetener because of its natural origin. Stevia is extracted from the Stevia Rebaudiana Leaf and is the healthiest option in the market.

Stevia has low or almost no calories and made purely from natural substances. It reduces blood glucose level and has no detectable side effects. Though in certain body types it causes digestive issues and also results in calorie deficiency. Taste is also very perceptible.

2. Sucralose

Most popular sugar substitute in India with little stronger sweetness than natural sugar and has very little calories. Sucralose is lab-made artificial sweetener and are also affordable, that’s why most of the diabetic and obese patients swear on it. Sucralose is a perfect choice for weight watchers with no side effects and affordable cost. But sometimes, it may cause gastric problems and there are possibilities of allergic reaction on certain bodies.

3. Aspartame

It’s an amino acid derived artificial sweetener. Ideally used in baking products or beverages which needs to be stored. It has come under some controversies because of its negative effects, but through proper researches, it came out as inconclusive. If consumed in limited quantities, it can be taken as an ideal sugar substitute.

Aspartame is negligible in calorie count and is less sweet when compared to sucralose. Aspartame is an ideal substitute for baking. It has some common side effects when used in excessive amount. It may lead to nausea, mental distress or dizziness and excessive use may cause genetic disturbance.

4. Saccharin

Saccharin is the second most used artificial sweetener. Not as potent as other artificial sweetener when compared. Extremely low in calorie and is a great addition in the diet of weight watchers, does not trigger insulin release which reduces the risk of blood sugar spikes.

With zero calories and long shelf life it is readily available in the market. Very easy to blend in liquids though lot of people find it unpalatable after taste. And there are possibilities for allergic reactions.

Note – Not suitable for children and pregnant woman.

5. Acesulfame

Classical sugar which is 200 times sweeter than natural sugar. It has the bitter aftertaste; therefore, it is mostly combined with other artificial sweeteners like Aspartame or Saccharin.

Long term exposure may cause headaches, depression, nausea, mental confusion and many other effects on body.

However, having sugar isn’t that bad!! There are many natural sugar containing foods that are nutrient dense, high in fiber and other nutrients. But having refined concentrated sugar in large amount may cause dangerous diseases.

It all boils down to how healthy you choose to eat. Anything in excess may have negative impacts but regulating food intake cautiously, even if you are having your favourite hot chocolate fudge, cheese cake or nutella dense cookie, it won't hurt much!