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Why not sugar?

Today every coffee shop, restaurant and diner offer artificial sweeteners with coffee to their customers along with regular sugar. People who are on a diet, who try to maintain their weight or have certain health conditions usually opt for artificial sweeteners instead of sugar. Artificial sweeteners have their benefits but they also have certain negative sides that should be considered when choosing them over sugar. The way people eat today includes more sugar than ever. Sugar is not only found in cakes and cookies, but it is also present in almost every snack, soft beverages and even in foods one would not normally assume they have sugar, like bread, ships, dips, spreads, pickled food, and many more.

People avoid sugar for many reasons. There only a few diets that allow sugar intake. Eating plenty of sugary foods adds extra calories, which can lead to weight gain.

People who suffer from diabetes are not allowed to eat sugar so they have to find an alternative when they want to sweeten their coffee or have a candy bar.

What are artificial sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners, like sorbitol, mannitol or aspartame, are chemicals or natural compounds used to add sweetness to foods that do not contain any sugar. They contain much less calories than sugar and they are much sweeter, which means they are used in smaller amounts. They are often used in diets or by people who have diabetes.

Artificial sweeteners can be used instead of sugar to sweeten the coffee, tea, juice or similar beverage, or they can be found in sugar-free products like snacks, cookies, cakes, yogurt, and similar.

However, if a product is sugar-free, it does not mean it is calorie free. It can have high content of carbohydrates or fats, which does not make it suitable for dieters. Also, people with diabetes must be aware that certain foods, like flour, raise sugar levels in blood.

Safety of artificial sweeteners

Ever, since they came into wide use, artificial sweeteners have been subject of controversy. many newspaper and Internet articles TV shows and citizen groups have stated that artificial sweeteners are dangerous and can lead to many serious illnesses, especially cancer.

However, the National Cancer Institute has stated that according to their investigations and studies there is no scientific evidence that artificial sweeteners cause cancer. They should still be taken with moderation, especially aspartame. This sweetener is not recommended for persons who have a rare disease called phenylketonuria.

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