The rise of consumption of artificial sweeteners has increased in the recent years due to the increased awareness of the health consequences of eating excessive sugar.
However, a new research revealed that these sugar replacements can also lead to several health problems even diabetes and obesity. Moreover, artificial sweeteners are one of the most common food additives that are used worldwide and are consumed in zero-calorie sodas and other products, MedicalXpress reported.
"Despite the addition of these non-caloric artificial sweeteners to our everyday diets, there has still been a drastic rise in obesity and diabetes," said lead researcher Brian Hoffmann, PhD, assistant professor in the department of biomedical engineering at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University. "In our studies, both sugar and artificial sweeteners seem to exhibit negative effects linked to obesity and diabetes, albeit through very different mechanisms from each other."
So, we bring to you a list of natural sweeteners that you can have instead:
Stevia is a popular low-calorie sweetener, extracted from the leaves of a plant known as Stevia rebaudiana. They're sweeter than sugar and almost has no calories at all. Studies have shown that it can lower blood sugar levels in diabetics when the blood pressure is high, it can lower it by 6-14 percent. So, ditch sugar, other artificial sweeteners and add Stevia if you want to sweeten something.
Maple syrup is made by boiling sap from maple trees. The syrup can then be dried, powdered, and sold as maple sugar. It's healthy as the syrup contains some vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The syrup can be diluted and used in foods like oatmeal, baked fruit, yams or other food products.
Yacon syrup is harvested from the Yacon plant, growing natively in the Andes in South America. It has become popular recently as a weight loss supplement after a study found that it significantly caused weight loss in overweight women. The syrup is high in soluble fibers that feed the good bacteria in the intestine and can help against constipation. However, eating too much is not advisable as it can cause digestive problems.
Coconut sugar made from sap extracted from buds of coconut palms is just like table sugar. It also provides small amounts of nutrients, such as thiamin, copper, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, and antioxidants.
This sweetener also contains inulin, a naturally-occurring, an indigestible carbohydrate that acts as a prebiotic, or "food" for beneficial gut bacteria.
Erythritol is a low-calorie sweetener found naturally in certain fruits, but the powdered erythritol is most likely being made via an industrial process. According to Healthline, it contains 0.24 calories per gram and studies show that it doesn't spike blood sugar or insulin levels. It also has no effect on cholesterol or triglycerides.