If I gave you a slice of red velvet cake and said it has no sugar and half the calories of a regular slice, but tastes just as good, that’s a pretty hard offer to resist. However, what I didn’t tell you about that slice is it may potentially cause cancer, diabetes, have an unpleasant laxative effect, and even lead to sexual dysfunction along with a list of other complications. Does that sound delicious? I don’t think so. Sugar substitutes may give people more leeway in their diet, but it can potentially cause serious health detriments down the line. Trust me, I know how great it sounds to be able to eat your favorite dessert without worrying about gaining weight because I have the biggest sweet tooth known to man, but the risk is just not worth it.
Most sugar substitutes may be “sugar coated” by advertisers into being the answer to easy weight loss, but they are just harmful chemicals in disguise. Aspartame is made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. Aspartic acid can cross the blood brain barrier and destroy neurons, ultimately leading to such neurological problems as Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and even dementia. Phenylalanine can cause mood disorders such as depression since it has been shown to lower seratonin levels in the brain. Methanol is oxidized in the body into formaldehyde and formic acid, both of which are considered toxic. Formaldahyde is actually a well known carcinogen, and can cause DNA mutations, which can then lead to cancer.
Sucralose is another popular sugar substitute that has gained its appeal by being advertised as a derivative of sugar, making us think it is all natural. However, what the creators did was add chlorine atoms to the ends of sugar molecules so that they couldn’t link together and accumulate in the body. Instead, there was a small percentage of chlorine left behind (about 15%) after ingesting sucralose. So, in place of having sugar accumulate in the body, the consumer would have chlorine build up instead. Chlorine is a highly reactive atom and can also cause DNA mutagenisis and cancer like aspartame can, so how is sucralose any better?
Stevia is the newest sugar substitute in the US market today. It comes from a plant in South America, where it has been used as a sweetener for centuries. It has also been used in Japan for over 30 years now. Granted, there haven’t been any reports of adverse effects from using Stevia in other countries just yet, but the problem is that it’s still relatively new to us here in America. We tend to take things to the extreme and consume more than the average person in other countries. When using rats as test subjects, toxicologist have shown that taking stevia in large amounts for a long period of time can potentially cause infertility and tumor growth. So, as of now, stevia does seem like the “best” alternative if consumed in moderation, but again, why risk it?
In my opinion, brown sugar is your best bet when it comes to choosing a sweetener. It is unrefined, so it has less calories than refined white sugar. Also, honey is a great sweetener that comes with many health benefits as well including boosting your immune system due to having unique antimicrobial properties. So, the next time you see those pink, yellow and blue packets, think of how detrimental they can be to your health and take the natural route instead. I hope these tips help! Thanks for reading, this has been your dose of Vitamin Jas.