At 16 calories a teaspoon, pure cane (or table) sugar seems harmless, but the calories add up. Some use artificial sweeteners to cut calories and satisfy a sweet tooth, but most of them can leave a bad taste in your mouth. So which one is better: higher calorie pure cane sugar or no-calorie artificial sweeteners?
Is sugar bad for you?
Processed or natural sugar is a simple carbohydrate that your body uses for energy and is found in vegetables, fruits and dairy. Many processed foods have added sugar to enhance flavor and add color, texture and bulk. Sugar also helps balance acidity in some foods, which is why it is a main ingredient in some salad dressings. Low-fat foods often contain higher amounts of sugar to make them taste better. There are some health risks associated with sugar consumption, such as heart disease and excess belly fat.
Are artificial sweeteners good for you?
Artificial sweeteners are synthetic substances that are sometimes made from actual sugar or herbs. They are more concentrated than sugar, so you don’t have to use as much without adding extra calories. They may help you maintain your weight, but most have an unpleasant aftertaste.
The jury’s out on whether or not artificial sweeteners are conclusively bad for you, but they do have health risks. Some studies suggest that using them may cause cancer, but the research has been inconclusive.
Is Splenda really that bad for you?
Splenda is bad for you in large doses. Just like regular sugar, large doses of the Splenda sweetener can negatively impact your health. Splenda is an artificial sugar that is linked to gut health issues and can lead to a sugar addiction. Splenda is 600 times sweeter than sugar, earning it the title of “high-intensity sweetener.” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Splenda for commercial use in 1999 and hasn’t reviewed the status since then. But just because it can legally be consumed doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
Are artificial sweeteners or natural sugars healthier?
Since the jury is still out on what the exact risks of using artificial sweeteners are, learn to read food labels to see how much real sugar is in the foods you eat. And if you want to have to add sugar to your morning coffee, make it a spoonful of the raw sugar to avoid chemicals your body doesn’t need.