No added sugars, no artificial sweeteners, sugar free or diet friendly, but what does this all mean? What is the difference? Which is healthiest? Which is the safest?
The term natural is confusing when it comes to sugar! When weighing up ‘natural’ versus ‘artificial’ our instinct is to avoid the latter. Although table sugar isn’t made in a lab, experts have discovered various negative health effects of a sugary diet which have certainly scared us away. Excessive sugar intake can cause acne, weaken the immune system, effect sperm production and even spike hormones levels. More commonly known is that a sugary diet can lead to weight gain and type-2 diabetes. Therefore, we should not be exceeding the recommended maximum of seven teaspoons of sugar a day. So, as you stand at the coffee cart and the internal debate of white packet of ‘natural sugar’ or pink packet of ‘artificial sweetener’ strikes, remember, the 4g packet is well within the boundary of your 25g daily allowance. However, sugar is not the enemy, in moderation!
The debate deepens when we consider ‘natural sugars’ such as agave nectar and honey. They are promoted as healthier alternatives but highly refined and processed. In fact, agave nectar actually converts sugar into fat more easily, so avoid falling into that trap!
Arguably the word ‘artificial’ is enough to deter us! But, sweeteners successfully serve as a sugar replacement, giving a sweet taste with few or no calories. The number of different sweetener is overwhelming, aspartame, sorbitol, sucralose, stevia, the list goes on. They all do the same job but have different chemical composition. Nonetheless, they can all be used in significantly smaller doses for the same sweetening effect as sugar because sweetener is between 200 and 600 times sweeter.
A modest serving means fewer calories therefore, sweeteners can also reduce daily calorie consumption. The vast array of calorie-free alternatives to sugar may even suppress our appetites! So, we can wave goodbye to constant sugar cravings! Although there are numerous benefits, we do have to question if this zero-calorie alternative is worse for our health? Experts insist, despite numerous claims, sweetener is safe. Similarly, there is no evidence supporting the notion that sweetener can cause cancer growth.
To settle the debate once and for all, moderation is the answer! Choose either option! But, if you can’t or won’t curb your sugar cravings, book a private chef for a dessert sure to scintillate and satisfy your sweet tooth!