Are You Addicted to Sugar? Just Use a Sugar Substitute Instead.
It originally has happened so that an idea to produce sugar substitute came to mind of German chemist with Russian roots, Constantin Fahlberg, when he was making experiments with sulphamin benzoic acid in 1879. He just forgot to wash his hands after experimenting with this acid and couldn’t help himself but notice that bread he touched during lunch became sweet to taste.
There are no data regarding initial purpose of the Fahlberg’s work, but saccharine is what he came up with. His invention soon became increasingly popular as there was not so much sugar delivered to Europe during the First World War.
Then people got to know other kinds of sugar substitutes after three decades. Manufacturers tried to make manufacturing process of sweets cheaper and people already knew that natural sugar is not so healthy to use due to the following reasons:
- People gain weight using it;
- Sugar damages dental enamel;
- Diabetics cannot use sugar.
However, not everything is so easy when it comes to sugar substitutes.
Artificial Sugar Substitutes
The following artificial sugar substitutes are widely used:
Saccharin is now not used in its pure form. This is because it has not so nice metallic aftertaste. However, it complements ice cream, cookies, canned goods and juices.
Human body does not absorb saccharin and removes it in a natural way. The greatest advantage of saccharin is its ability to give the food sweet taste and make it available for diabetics.
However, it may increase appetite in consumer. We like sweets, and our body is «waiting» for glucose to enter our bodies. We start to feel hungry if we are not getting it. So, people, who wish to lose some weight by not eating sugar, may not eventually lose weight at all.
Another thing is that saccharin can cause allergic reaction in some people. In 70-s of 20th century, people used to think that saccharin can increase risk of development of cancers and negatively affects fertility. Later, it has been proven otherwise.
Sucrasit derives from saccharin. It contains fumaric acid. It is considered that this substance can negatively affect endocrine system if used in large amounts. Recommended daily intake is up to 0,6 grams. It can be used by diabetics.
Aspartame is a very popular sugar substitute. It contains phenylalanine and asparagine acid. It is widely used to make sodas and is marked as «Е951».
The problem is that this substance is unstable. When warmed up, constituents of aspartame break into methanol and formaldehyde. Therefore, fizzy drinks should be consumed chilled. And this is not a good thing for kidneys.
Daily intake of aspartame is 3 grams. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use it.
Cyclamate is marked as «Е952». It is used as a pill and added to drinks as it easily dissolves in fluids. Recommended daily intake of this substance comprises 0,8 grams.
Pregnant, breastfeeding women and people with kidney diseases should not use it in food. And it does not cause cancer as some people believe.
Natural Sugar Substitutes
Fructose is a fruit sugar which forms in berries and fruits as they ripen. It is twice sweeter than sugar and contains 32% less calories. The main advantage of fructose is that it does not strongly affect blood sugar level. Fructose can be used by diabetics. It also speeds up breaking process of the alcohol in blood.
Fructose is a preservative. It can be added to jams and safely consumed by diabetics.
The main disadvantage of fructose is a risk of development of the cardiovascular diseases if consumed in excessive amounts. Recommended daily intake is 30-40 grams.
Kislit is manufactured from ear corns and shells of the cotton seeds. It is like a sugar in terms of nutritional value and sweetness. Yet, it has two advantages:
- It absorbs slowly by human body, therefore this substance can be safely used by diabetics;
- Kislit positively affects teeth and, therefore, toothpaste is quite often complemented with it.
It is noteworthy that this substance can cause diarrhea when consumed in large amounts. So, one should not consume more than 50 grams of this substance per day.
Sorbitol is found in apricots and dogberry. It is polyatomic spirit with a sweet taste. Sorbitol is as sweet as natural sugar and it has 1,5 times higher nutritional value. This is why it should not be consumed if one wants to lose some weight. Sorbitol can also cause nausea if consumed in large amounts (daily intake is 30-40 grams).
Sorbitol has the following advantages:
- It is harmless for diabetics;
- It improves gut microflora;
- It acts as an excellent choleretic;
- It can be used as a preservative.
Doctors consider sorbitol one of the best sugar substitutes and classify it as a food.
Stevia is actively promoted by the manufacturers as a modern sweetener of herbal origin. Stevia is calorie free and can be used by diabetics.
The study of consumer reviews has shown that stevia has a “grassy” taste. In some cases, it upsets stomach.
If you need to limit your sugar intake for health reasons, then the optimal solution is to stop eating sweets. And it’s not so difficult thing to do. But the inveterate sweet tooth can use the abovementioned sugar substitutes in reasonable quantities. At the same time, the best choice for physically active people would be sorbitol.