A sugar substitute is not as evil as you think

A sugar substitute is not as evil as you think

It’s almost human nature to like to eat sweets. Hundreds of years ago, sugar was still a luxury. Those who could afford it were either rich or expensive, and those who had no money could not eat it. Of course, they would not be poisoned by sugar. However, when time is approaching the 21st century, sugar drinks and sweets are readily available. Not only is there a beverage shop every few steps, but every few months there will be a kind of dreamy and sweet dreams.

These large amounts of sugar make our body worse, playing with our blood sugar control and emotions. More sugar is also converted into fat, which stays in the abdomen, thighs, chin, etc. Although more and more people have realized that too much sugar is harmful to the body, after all, everyone has become addicted to sugar. Food and beverages are not sweet or unpleasant. While demanding sugar restriction and sugar reduction, manufacturers A variety of sweeteners have been introduced. The so-called “zero-calorie” cola and “no added sucrose” candies are all born because of this. The main feature is low-calorie and low-calorie so that everyone can eat sweets and drink sweets more comfortably.

So over the years, even if everyone is thinking about sugar reduction, the demand for sweeteners on the market has risen instead of falling. So what are the health effects of these sweeteners and sugar substitutes on the human body? Let’s take a look together.


Before understanding sugar substitute, let’s look at ordinary edible sugar, which mostly refers to sucrose. After we eat these sugars and digest them, sucrose will be broken down into glucose and fructose, which are absorbed in the small intestine, affecting our blood sugar levels and bringing in calories. Sucrose, fructose, etc. are considered food raw materials, not food additives.

Sugar substitute

Sugar substitutes are substitutes for sugar. They have a sweet taste. They are artificial compounds used to replace sugar. They are low-calorie sweeteners. Although it is always unpleasant to hear “artificial synthesis”, in fact, these sweetness Flavoring agents have been widely used in carbonated beverages, baked foods, jellies, puddings, candies, canned foods, yogurt, flavored milk, and other dairy products.

In addition to artificial sweeteners, you may also hear the so-called “natural” sweeteners, which means that the sugar substitute may be derived from herbs or sugar itself. Although the raw materials sound natural, the extraction process is not natural. It will not be better than artificial sweeteners.

Below we will introduce some of the most common sugar substitutes.

Aspartame (aspartame)

The sweetness is about two hundred times that of sucrose. Aspartame is added to Diet Coke, so it is a well-known sugar substitute. There have been certain groups that promote the carcinogenicity of aspartame. However, after a lot of research, there is no evidence that aspartame can cause brain cancer. However, the most common complaint of consumers is headache. If you have a migraine, you can consider stopping using aspartame as a sugar substitute. People with phenylketonuria cannot take aspartame.


The sweetness is about two or three hundred times that of sucrose. This is a relatively well-known sugar substitute in recent times. It is known as a natural sweetener. The green bottle of Coke is added with stevia. Although it is derived from natural plants, the process of extraction and refining is not natural, and other solvents must be added to obtain stevia. Japan and South America often use stevia to make food and drinks.


The sweetness is about 600 times that of sucrose. Sucralose is a sweetener derived from sucrose as a raw material, also known as “sucralose.” The taste of sucralose is similar to that of sucrose, so it is the most commonly used sweet substitute. It is currently widely used in processed foods such as beverages, syrups, dairy products, jams, and preserves. Next time you see a food label like “sucralose” or “sucralose”, don’t think it is sucrose, but know that it is an artificial sweetener.


Saccharin was the first artificial sweetener and was accidentally synthesized as early as the 19th century. The sweetness is three hundred to four hundred times that of sucrose. After tasting saccharin-containing foods, it will have a bitter and metallic aftertaste. Some medicines, candies, biscuits, and beverages have a metallic taste in the mouth after eating, which may be that they contain saccharin.

In the 1970s, an experiment believed that saccharin caused bladder cancer in mice, so foods containing saccharin at that time required warnings. But after more years of research, it is now believed that normal doses of saccharin will not cause cancer and there are no other health risks. Therefore, modern saccharin products do not require warnings.


The sweetness is 8,000 times that of sucrose, and the chemical properties are more stable than aspartame. It can also be used in heating historical products. It has been widely used in chewing gum, carbonated drinks, yogurt, cakes, and other foods.

Acesulfame potassium

The sweetness is about two hundred times that of sucrose. Also known as acesulfame K, it is more stable in a hot environment, so it is used for baking food.

Seeing such a bunch of sugar substitutes may make you a little dizzy. It’s okay. All we need to know is that these sugar substitutes are hundreds of times sweeter than sucrose. You don’t need to add too much to bring sweetness, and the sugar substitutes are almost Without calories, this is a boon for people who need weight control. In addition, sugar substitutes are not carbohydrates and will not increase blood sugar. In the lives of diabetic patients, sugar substitutes occupy a very important position. Another possible benefit of sugar substitutes is that they will not cause tooth decay!

However, you may also feel that sugar substitutes make people uncomfortable to eat! After eating the sugar substitute, a bitter or metallic taste will remain in the mouth. Therefore, manufacturers often add different kinds of sweeteners to cover each other’s taste remaining in the mouth.

And can sugar substitutes really make people lose weight? There is a lot of research on this aspect, but the results are divergent. In the short term, if you switch from the original high-calorie sweets to eating or drinking sweetener foods, you may get fewer calories, but in the long run, your weight will even It may rise. In other words, unless other weight loss strategies are used, the weight control effect of using sugar substitutes alone is very limited.

Will eating too much of these artificial compounds cause cancer? In the 1970s, studies believed that saccharin was related to bladder cancer. However, after multiple studies, no evidence was found that artificial sweeteners can cause cancer. In a large-scale analysis, it is not believed that artificial sweeteners increase the risk of cancer. In other words, our various artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharin are basically safe food additives.

In addition to the above-mentioned sweeteners, there is another common additive that is sugar alcohol. When you see alcohol, everyone will mistake it for alcohol. No, sugar alcohol does not contain alcohol. Sugar alcohol originally exists in some fruits and vegetables, but when mass production, sugar alcohol is not really extracted from fruits or vegetables. Therefore, the production process still uses chemical reaction steps to convert xylose into xylitol and lactose. Converted into lactitol, glucose is converted into sorbitol.

Sugar alcohol is different from the above-mentioned sugar substitutes. Sugar alcohol is a kind of carbohydrate, so it also contains calories, but it contains fewer calories than sugar. It is also commonly found in processed foods such as chewing gum and chocolate. It has a moist taste.

Will sugar alcohols like sorbitol and xylitol have any health effects? Although sugar alcohols are carbohydrates, they are carbohydrates that the body cannot fully absorb, so they have a relatively small impact on blood sugar, and the calories they carry are not as high as sucrose. Therefore, sugar alcohols still have a chance to control blood sugar and weight. However, when you eat a large amount, it is easy to cause hiccups, flatulence, and diarrhea.

Finally, let’s take a look at natural sweeteners such as honey, nectar, and maple syrup. These are products that we intuitively think are healthier, but in fact, the amount of vitamins or minerals contained in honey is about the same as the vitamins and minerals contained in sucrose. Our body also metabolizes honey and maple syrup into glucose and fructose for absorption, so there is little difference in nutrients or body processing. Don’t just eat more because you think it’s called natural sugar. Eating too much is the same as eating too much sucrose, which will cause tooth decay, fatness, and blood sugar control problems. If it is for a change in taste, it is more reasonable to choose maple syrup or honey. Otherwise, choosing these sugars will not make them healthier.

Perhaps seeing this, you will be surprised to find that synthetic sweeteners are not as bad as we thought, and natural honey and maple syrup are not as good as we imagined. If you eat too much, you will have high blood sugar and fat.

After all, we still have to understand from the heart that we have already eaten too much sugar, more than the body needs, and start training ourselves to not need so much sweetness and sugar in order to reduce sugar, natural sweeteners, and artificial Only by reducing the demand for sweetness can the demand for sweeteners and other sweet sources reduce the burden on the body.