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The Differences Between Artificial Sweeteners and Natural Sugars

Pictured: pure sugar and artificial sugars spilled out of the packets

When drinking “diet” or low/ non-caloric drinks, are you thinking about what artificial chemicals that you are putting into your body and how they are going to affect you in the long run? Artificial sweeteners are essentially sugar substitutes that have added chemicals to make it taste sweet like sugar, some of those substitutes are NutraSweet which has aspartame, Splenda that is made with sucralose, and Sweet N’ Low that includes acesulfame potassium, neotame and saccharin. Those five, saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame and sucralose happen to be the only FDA approved with the addition of the sweetener Stevia but still lead to weight issues. When you use these non-nutritive sweeteners to replace your caloric intake, you are actually reducing your tolerance for other tastes. For example, when drinking diet soda the urge to eat sweets outweighs the urge to eat and enjoy fruits and vegetables causing weight gain and later lead to obesity if not stopped. Artificial sweeteners actually become addictive and a must have in one’s eating habits. The Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis had shown that with daily consumption of “diet” drinks had led to a 36% increased risk for metabolic syndrome as well as a 67% increase risk for type 2 Diabetes.

So, what does that mean for sugar? Sugar in natural form, from fruits, are incredibly high in fiber and nutrients which is what the body needs to thrive. Even though glucose is the main energy source for our bodies, sugar that is concentrated and refined quickly increases blood sugar and insulin, triglycerides, oxygen radicals when consumed in large amounts which leads to the chances for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. When thinking about sugar, calories and cavities come to mind but in reality: sugars help maintain and balance the oils in your skin, they aren’t processed making it easy for ones metabolism to process, and although insulin is increased the leptin hormone helps to feel fuller. There is a thing as too much sugar, too many natural sugars from juices or fruits can contribute to weight gain and then possibly lead to prediabetes even though there are tons of vitamins, minerals and fibers that the body needs to stay healthy; a little goes a long way.

The next time you order a diet coke or reach for the sugar packets, take the time to read the nutrient table and think about what is going into your body and what will happen with continued use of artificial sweeteners. Are you willing to risk developing a cardiovascular disease or having to always check your blood sugar levels later in life? The Chiropractic Office of Dr. Gene Ross would like you to try reaching for a bottle of water instead of a coffee with two sugars.

“What Are Artificial Sweeteners?” WebMD, WebMD,

Strawbridge, Holly. “Artificial Sweeteners: Sugar-Free, but at What Cost?” Harvard Health Blog, 8 Jan. 2018,

“Sugar Benefits- Health Benefits of Sugar.” Benefits of Sugar - Positive Health Effects,

“Sugar vs. Artificial Sweeteners.” Scientific American,

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