Welcome to Part 2 of 3 in our Sugar Series! Last month we focused on the negative effects of sugar, the best ones to use, and the ones to certainly avoid. This month we are taking a look at two types of sugar alternatives: artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols. Are they good? Are they bad? Where are they found? And what words should you be looking for on an ingredients label?
What Do Artificial Sweeteners Do to Your Body?
Artificial sweeteners are sugar substitutes that are chemically manufactured (they do not exist in nature). Artificial sweeteners can be found in some processed foods, oral care products, or purchased as is. Aspartame has been ranked as the worst artificial sweetener for the body. It has been known to cause…
1. Birth Defects: has been known to cause brain changes in unborn babies and in some cases, brain damage.
2. Disease: has been linked to brain tumors.
3. High Blood Sugar: causes blood sugar control to worsen for those on insulin. Can also worsen complications associated with high blood sugar such as cataracts, neuropathy, etc.
4. Emotional Issues: those with mood disorders tend to be extra sensitive to artificial sweeteners and can worsen their condition.
5. Seizures: there has been a growing number of seizures in individuals following ingestion of aspartame.
Artificial sweeteners are most commonly found in: instant breakfasts, puddings, soft drinks, shake mixes, sugar-free chewing gum, breath mints, cereal, coffee beverages, gelatin desserts, juice beverages, tea beverages, wine coolers, yogurt, multivitamins, laxatives, pharmaceuticals, and instant teas & coffees, to name some. It is extremely important to be an advocate for yourself and your family by reading labels.
Types of Artificial Sweeteners:
Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low, Sugar Twin)
Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal)
Acesulfame potassium (Sweet One, Swiss Sweet)
What Do Sugar Alcohols Do to Your Body?
Sugar alcohol are extracted from corn or birch wood and go through a process known as sugar hydrogenation. It some cases it is genetically modified. It does not cause issues with blood sugar, but it can cause gut issues for some individuals. It has been known to kill many different strains of bacteria which is why it is great in oral products. However, it regards to consumption, it is unclear how it effects the good bacteria found in the gut. It is also possible that sugar alcohol may function like a prebiotic, benefiting healthy gut bacteria. Although there may be potential healthy benefits, not enough research has been conducted to truly know the effects of sugar alcohols.
Sugar alcohols are commonly found in chewing gum, oral health products, and can be purchased as a sugar substitute.
**Note: Sugar alcohol are extremely toxic to dogs! Even in small amounts!
Types of Sugar Alcohols:
Hydrogentated starch hydrolysates
To find out if you body is suffering from the negative effects of sugar, contact Balanced Health for a Hair & Saliva Wellness Analysis Kit at 612-812-9121.