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Do You Rely on Sugar Substitutes?

By Tom Herrin

These days, lots of people use some kind of artificial sweeteners.  They are everywhere and in all kinds of foods and drinks.  Their history is actually pretty short.  The first one that was considered to be successful was introduced just over a hundred years ago.  I can't exactly imagine what some of the early candidates must have tasted like.  The first big one was saccharin, and it was used for a long time.  My grandmother used it when I was young.  I remember trying it and couldn't quite understand how she could drink something with it in there.  As time went on, a few problems were seen, and many people steered away.   

In the past 30 or 40 years, some better-tasting alternatives have become available.  A stroll through the drink section of most stores will allow us to see what a large number of drinks advertise to be sugar-free and how popular they seem to be.

Who Really Needs Them?

The real need for sugar substitutes is undoubtedly those who are diabetic.  At one time, anyone with this condition was destined for a shortened life and deprivation of many things that others took for granted.  After the development of usable insulin, sugar substitutes must have surely been a real game-changer.  It allowed diabetics to enjoy foods and drinks that would have made them seriously ill previously.  For these individuals, these sweeteners have drastically improved their quality of life.

What About Dieters?

For sure, it seems that much of the advertising for sugar-free products may be geared for those who want to manage their weight.  It can help, in some cases, but there have been some studies that have indicated that some sugar-free beverages may actually increase hunger thus causing people to eat more.  If this is the case, it could be troublesome.  I have certainly known some people who drank diet drinks several times per day but seemed to be considerably overweight.  I can't say this is the cause, but it didn't appear to serve their purpose.

Sugar Has Its Place

Aside from diabetics, most of us can safely consume sugar if we will just practice a little restraint.  The tendency to steadily snack on products with high sugar contents can get us into lots of trouble.  If we consume it in small amounts, however, it can be a nice treat with no harmful effects.   If we do this, along with cleaning our teeth properly, we can enjoy those occasional treats.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in University Heights, Ohio.

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