Are Sweeteners on Your Grocery List?
By Tom Herrin
When we think of sweeteners, a lot of different things come to mind. For some of us, the standard is, and has been, sugar. Some others swear by using honey and feel it has some great exceptional value. An increasing number of others use some kind of artificial sweeteners. These have been around longer than some of us may realize as they were first successfully developed and introduced in the late 1800s. It is a little hard for me to imagine them being around before people were using automobiles as a general mode of transportation. I also wonder what those first products must have tasted like.
Sugar Substitutes and Health
There has often been some question about the effects of using an artificial sweetener on our health. At one time, a Canadian study indicated that saccharin could cause bladder cancer. As such, a warning was included on anything containing it. After a while, it was concluded that the study was flawed due to the animals used for the testing. Saccharin made a bit of a comeback. As time went on, our desire for sweeteners with a better flavor led to more research and new products. There is a pretty good list of choices available today. While some individuals report some problems with them, these issues tend to fade with time.
Who Needs Them?
While many of us use some kind of sugar substitute, much of this is by personal preference. Those who are diabetic actually need something to protect their health while they enjoy some of the sweeter things in life. The development of these products has truly been a life-saving event for diabetics. It has allowed them to manage their health and enjoy foods and drinks along with others while staying healthy. For most of them, any possible risks are easily outweighed by the benefits.
Are Natural Sweeteners off the List?
Too much of anything can be bad. It is pretty easy to overindulge in sweets. Whether is it at holidays or just snacking, eating too many sweets can cause weight gain, blood sugar issues, and bad teeth. On the other hand, if we can exercise some personal discipline, and are not diabetic, we can enjoy sweet treats in small amounts without fear of jeopardizing our health. The point is to do it in moderation. Of course, that works better for most things.
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