The difference between sugar and natural sweeteners when it comes to our diets, sugar is one of the most common ingredients. It’s added to food and drink to enhance flavor or act as a preservative and is often used in baking. But despite its widespread use, there is growing evidence to suggest that we should reduce our sugar intake.
One way of doing this is by using natural sweeteners instead. But what are natural sweeteners, and are they better for us than sugar? In this blog post, we take a closer look at the two types of sweeteners and find out which is best for our health. Sugar vs Natural Sweeteners Sugar is a carbohydrate that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables. It’s also added to processed foods like cakes, biscuits and fizzy drinks. Sugar provides energy but contains no essential nutrients.
Natural sweeteners are alternative sources of sweetness that come from plants or minerals. They can be used in place of sugar in food and drink or as a tabletop sweetener. Common examples include honey, agave nectar, stevia, xylitol and erythritol. Unlike sugar, some natural sweeteners may provide health benefits such as reducing tooth decay or blood sugar levels. However, it’s important to note that these claims haven’t been proven definitively and more research is needed before any firm conclusions can be drawn. What Are the Benefits of Using Natural Sweeteners Over Sugar?
There are several reasons why you might choose to use natural sweeteners instead of sugar. Here are some potential benefits: Reduced calorie intake – because natural sweeteners contain fewer calories than sugar, they could help with weight loss if used in place of sugary foods/drinks. Lower blood sugar levels – some studies have shown that natural sweeteners help lower blood glucose levels after eating. This means they could benefit people with diabetes who must carefully control their blood glucose levels. Fewer dental problems – bacteria in the mouth feed on sugars found in food/drink, which leads to plaque formation. Plaque can eventually harden into tartar (calculus), causing dental cavities. Some artificial sweeteners have been linked with reduced plaque formation. Please Note: There is currently no definitive evidence that any particular artificial sweetener prevents cavities over another. Improved gut health – Xylitol has been shown to promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. This suggests it could offer some protection against conditions like diarrhea and constipation caused by infection. Please Note: Although Xylitol appears safe when eaten in small amounts, consuming large quantities could lead to gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating, flatulence and diarrhea. Reducing your intake of sugary foods/drinks by swapping them for those containing artificial sweeteners such as agave or stevia may have health benefits including weight loss & improved gut health. So why not jump on board to improve your health? Team Plant-Based!