There are a few people who can overcome the urge of sweet foods. The increase of the consumption of sugar has become a health concern even as many people claim to be addicted to sugar. The consumption of sugar has been blamed for numerous health and dental complications including obesity & weight gain, hypertension, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, dental cavities and tooth decay. Health problems such as vitamin & mineral deficiencies and osteoporosis are also associated with the consumption of foods loaded sugar.
Sugar substitutes are typical food additives that seek to duplicate the taste of sugar, often with limited/ less food energy. Nevertheless, sugar substitutes fall into two main categories, synthetic and natural. Artificial sweeteners are not natural sugars.
There are numerous benefits associated with the consumption of artificial sweeteners, including:
• Weight loss: Most people often use artificial sugars with the hope of losing weight. They opt for artificial sugars because it helps in limiting the intake of food energy by replacing high energy sugar with other sweeteners containing no or little food energy. It is therefore a common practice to limit the consumption of food energy by replacing corn syrup or high-energy sugar with other sweeteners that contain no or limited food energy. This gives an individual the opportunity to continue eating the same levels of food portions, while loosing weight and avoiding problems associated with excess calories.
• Diabetes: Persons diagnosed with diabetes experience problems regulating the levels of their blood sugar. By choosing artificial sweeteners, they can benefit from controlled sugar intake while enjoying a varied diet. Furthermore, some artificial sugars do not release energy. However, they are metabolized slowly which allows the levels of blood sugar to stabilize over time.
• Dental care: Sugars and carbohydrates consumed lodges on the tooth enamel. Bacteria often feed on these food remains giving them an opportunity to multiply rapidly. Meanwhile, they convert the sugar into acid waste that results in the decay of the tooth structure. Artificial sweeteners are a preferred choice because they do not cause plaque; they are not subjected to the fermentation process using microflora. Xylitol for example, is a type of sweetener that helps in preventing bacteria from lodging on the surface of the teeth, thus preventing the formation of plaque leading to tooth decay.
• Reactive hypoglycemia: Persons diagnosed with reactive hypoglycemia produce excess insulin after rapidly absorbing glucose in the bloodstream. This result in the levels of blood glucose falling below the amount required for the brain and body to function properly. Like the diabetics, they need to keep away from the consumption of high-glycemic foods such as white bread and instead opt for artificial sweeteners.
• Cost: Artificial sweeteners are much cheaper compared with sugar. The low cost is often attributed to longer shelf life. This also makes it practical to use alternative sweeteners in other products to enhance their life span.
Problems associated with the consumption of artificial sweeteners:
Some artificial sweeteners are not free from calories. In fact, a significant number have as much calories as sugar. Furthermore, artificial sweeteners have the capacity of causing nausea, headaches and depression. Artificial sugars have also been blamed for causing kidney and liver complications.
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