Food & Recipes

Here’s The 8 Best And Worst Sugar Substitutes For Your Health

Whether you’re into baking at home or trying to buy the right products at the grocery store, it’s important to know which sugar substitutes to choose and which to avoid.

Now that people are becoming more aware about the dangers of too much refined sugar, people are opting for “healthier” substitutes for the sweetener.

Whether it’s sugar-free soda, a lighter Starbucks drinks, or sugar-free gum, artificial sweeteners have been popping up everywhere, and many are choosing these options over their sugar-filled counterparts, believing them to be the more nutritious option. Unfortunately, many of these sugar substitutes are actually worse for you than the real thing.

Whether you’re into baking at home or trying to buy the right products at the grocery store, it’s important to know which sugar substitutes to choose and which to avoid.

If you’re at a loss as to what sweeteners are the healthiest option, use the below guide for the worst and best sugar substitutes.

Worst Sugar Substitutes

1. Equal

This popular sweetener is made from aspartame, which can cause headaches, and even worse, an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Aspartame is found in thousands of foods, especially diet soda, and it accounts for 75 percent of the adverse food reactions reported to the FDA.

sweetener photo
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2. Splenda

Splenda, also known as sucralose, has been found to have some harmful effects on the body, including reducing good gut bacteria, releasing toxic compounds during baking, and altering insulin responses and blood sugar levels.

Research has also shown that consumption of sucralose is linked to type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

splenda photo
Photo by smkybear

3. Sweet N’ Low

Sweet N’ Low contains saccharin, a white crystalline powder that is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Studies from the 1970s show that rats who consumed the sweetener showed a higher risk of obtaining bladder cancer, and while the effect has not yet been shown on humans, the Center for Science in the Public Interest still believes saccharin to be unsafe and has listed it as a sweetener to avoid.

sweet n' low photo
Photo by iluvcocacola

4. Agave Nectar

Although it was a popular “health” option for quite some time, agave nectar is actually very high in fructose, which can put you at risk for heart disease, weight gain, and diabetes.

Since agave contains more fructose than even high fructose corn syrup, it can have a huge impact on your body’s insulin levels, wreaking havoc on your hormones and putting you at a higher risk of metabolic disease.

sweetener photo
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 Best Sugar Substitutes

1. Stevia

Stevia, is an ingredient in the popular sweetener, Truvia. It is is a natural plant indigenous to Peru and Brazil, and it is made with little-to-no chemical additives.

The substitute has no effect on your blood sugar, and it can actually improve insulin sensitivity, which helps your body effectively use glucose for energy.

stevia photo
Photo by JeepersMedia