February 16, 2015
There is nothing wrong with satisfying that sweet tooth as long as you do not go overboard. Today, as consumers, we have more options than ever to sweeten our favorite drinks and snacks. But, what are the dangers of using artificial sweeteners over natural sweeteners? Are there natural sweeteners that are healthier than others? Let's take a quick look at these questions to find the answer.
Sugar and Sugar Substitutes as Sweeteners
Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) lowered the recommended daily intake of sugar for adults from 50 grams a day to 25 grams a day. In laymen's terms, this is six teaspoons compared to the 12 we were permitted before. This is a significant decrease, especially for those of us that enjoy a sweetener in our coffee or tea in the morning.
Sugar in and of itself is not bad. We need carbohydrates to create energy for our body. The danger is in having too many carbs for our body to burn. When this "energy" is not used right away, it goes into storage, leading to weight gain. Too much sugar can also drain our body's natural vitamin C storage, which can negatively affect our white blood cell functions and lead to a weaker immune system.
As a way to circumvent the excessive use of sugar, many people will use a sugar substitute. However, some research says that these are in fact more dangerous than using too much sugar. While it is not our place to judge these products, we would highly suggest you do your own research prior to using them in place of sugar or some other natural sweetener.
So, if you cannot use sugar and do not want to use a substitute, what can you use to sweeten your morning tea or coffee? Honey is a product that people have used for centuries to naturally sweeten their drinks (and food). But, what type of honey should you use for maximum benefit.
When buying honey, you need to ensure that you are not buying a product that is overly processed, like the honey you find in that cute little bear. Raw manuka honey is a much better option because it is not processed and actually aids the body with its natural functions, such as the digestion of certain starches. It also contains natural proteins, minerals, and vitamins artificial sweeteners do not have.
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