Are Any Artificial Sweeteners Safe?

Posted on 07/08/2017 | About Canada

Are there any safe, sweet alternatives to sugar?

Research on artificial sweeteners is still emerging. Several readers have recently asked about stevia – one of the newer artificial sweeteners on the market – and whether it's safe...

Unlike other artificial sweeteners, stevia is an extract from the stevia plant... So it's a more natural form of sweetener. It's also in brand-name sweeteners Truvia and Pure Via.

In a review by the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health in Zurich, researchers wrote that stevia extracts appear to be properly broken down by the colon.

That's our major concern with another artificial sweetener – sucralose, the main ingredient in Splenda. It's not easily broken down and may even stop your colon from breaking down glucose.

Another study, from the University of Florida, points out that stevia helps reduce blood-sugar spikes after eating. It also increases the body's sensitivity to insulin, meaning you can better control the breakdown of sugar in your body.

However, there is some conflicting research about stevia and blood pressure. Some research suggests that stevia lowers your blood pressure... which leads to dangerous levels if you're already on blood-pressure-lowering medication. Unfortunately, there aren't enough studies for us to know just how dangerous this is.

Talk to your doctor before switching to stevia, and monitor your blood pressure to know exactly how you react to the sweetener.

Personally, I like to satisfy my sweet tooth by using raw honey as a sweetener. Also, look for naturally sweet foods like fruits to ease your cravings. The fiber in the fruit helps to slow the absorption of sugar... And you'll get all the health benefits of fruits, too.

Finally, always check how much added sugar is in your food. You might be surprised