The story behind the discovery of artificial sweeteners is actually rather interesting since it was completely by accident
In 1879 a researcher, Ira Ramsen accidentally spilled a derivative of coal tar on his hand and noticed it was sweet. That incident set the stage for further investigation, thus creating Saccharin, commonly known as Sweet-n-Low.
We have come a long way since then, now there are many brands and types of artificial sweeteners.
The more common ones are Splenda (sucralose), Stevia (pure via), and of course the Sweet-n-Low.
Artificial sweeteners are hundreds even thousands of times sweeter than regular table sugar (sucrose). Artificial sweeteners can be good for your health because they can be substituted in many things such as baking, soft drinks, candies, canned foods, dairy products, and many more.
Since these are much sweeter than regular sugar a smaller amount is needed and virtually contain no calories.
This is a very appealing factor for those trying to control their weight or lose weight.
They may also be a good alternative for individuals with Diabetes since they are not carbohydrates and do not raise sugar levels.
Although, artificial sweeteners sound like a good alternative they also have a bad side. They contain chemicals that in the long run can be harmful. In various studies, Cancers of different types have been linked to artificial sweeteners.
Severe side effects have also been linked to these sweeteners but further research is needed, these side effects can include skin rashes, panic, diarrhea, headaches, bladder issues, stomach pain, and create a bigger appetite and/or create sugar cravings.
Most of the artificial sweeteners have a “caution” label even though most of these are FDA approved, their ingredients fall under “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS).
Many times natural sweeteners such as agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, and molasses are recommended instead of regular sugar and artificial sweeteners. The truth is there is no much difference between regular sugar and natural sweeteners. The vitamin and mineral content is similar and the body recognizes them as so. The advantage is the way of use.
For example, these may be better on your waffles, desserts, cocktails, and baking.
Truth is, you can’t substitute one sugar for another and believe it is a healthier option.
Sugar consumption has increased in unbelievable amounts within the past 20 years.
The demand for sweets and “diet” anything is over the top. The sugar of your choice is not necessarily a problem, but the amounts in which you consume it. The best thing you can do to avoid health problems due to sugar, artificial sweeteners, and natural sweeteners in moderation.
Try to consume as low amounts as possible or even avoid completely.