Artificial Sweeteners - Another Form of Sugar
Posted: 17th August 2015
The amount of sugars and hidden sugars in our diet is currently a hot topic in the media. With the detrimental effects of excess sugar consumption on our health becoming ever more apparent, those of us with a sweet tooth have had to make tough decisions on what to put in our shopping basket and faced having making the decision of what sugar-substitute to use.
A quick search of stevia-based sweeteners available at various supermarkets, the total carbohydrate content, per 100g of product, is always in excess of 90g. In all these cases, stevia accounted for around 2% of the total product. The rest is made up of Dextrose (modified corn starch) or Maltodextrin (modified rice starch), items which DO have an impact on blood sugar levels: Dextrose has a GI (low glycaemic index score) of 100 whilst Maltodextrin has a GI of 105!
So whilst stevia itself may offer a good sugar-alternative, the commercial form it is found in is certainly not good for decreasing your sugar intake.
Ok, but what about honey, agave syrup, maple syrup and coconut sugar?
Coconut sugar, agave syrup and honey are sometimes seen as ‘healthy’ alternatives to granulated white sugar as they come from natural sources and due to this contain nutrients beneficial to health. Whilst honey and coconut sugar do contain traces of antioxidants, B vitamins, etc, these account for only 5% of total content. The other 95% is made up of a variety of carbohydrates, the main one being fructose.
Hence the idea of substituting granulated sugar for coconut sugar, agave syrup, maple syrup, etc may not be the healthiest thing that you can do as in actual fact you have not removed any sugar from your diet.
Fructose may well be low GI, but it suppresses the body’s ability to produce insulin and leptin – hormones required for controlling appetite, essentially the chemicals your body produces to tell you that you’re full. Fructose intake has been shown to contribute to insulin resistance, weight gain and hypertension.
Sugar-Free Yet Still Sweet
Polyols are becoming a popular ingredient in foods labelled as ‘sugar-free’. Polyols are a group of low digestible carbohydrates. They are easily recognisable in ingredients list due to the suffix ‘-ol’ eg: lactitol, mannitol, etc, Research has shown that consuming more than 10g of polyols a day can have a laxative effect as well as aggravate irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
Here at Natural Ketosis we do not use any of these artificial sweeteners in our products. It is for this reason that here at Natural Ketosis we use only natural ingredients, thereby ensuring that the quality of our food is second to none.