Another Reason to Pass on Artificial Sweeteners

New research is giving us another reason to question the safety of artificial sweeteners. Researchers concluded that artificial sweeteners may be contributing to diseases like obesity and diabetes. It may be another reason you should swap the pink or blue packet of the artificial stuff for something more natural.
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Salt and Pepper Shakers

New research is giving us another reason to question the safety of artificial sweeteners. Researchers concluded that artificial sweeteners may be contributing to diseases like obesity and diabetes. It may be another reason you should swap the pink or blue packet of the artificial stuff for something more natural.

A recent study published in the journal Nature found that folks who were given saccharin (a type of artificial sweetener) over a week developed glucose intolerance, a condition that can lead to diabetes. Additionally, researchers also analyzed close to 400 people and found that the gut bacteria of those who used artificial sweeteners were really different from folks who did not use the fake stuff. The study concluded that more research should be done to really determine the safety of these calorie-free sugar alternatives.

Go Natural

The possibility that artificial sweeteners may possibly lead to diabetes and obesity just takes me back to my long-time recommendation of going natural — with your sweeteners. There are many natural sweeteners on the market to choose from including 100 percent maple syrup, agave, honey, and molasses. All of these natural sweeteners also contain small amounts of vitamins and minerals! As always, any sugar should be eaten sparingly. Here are five delicious recipes to try that use these natural sweeteners in a healthy way.

A touch of maple syrup brings out the flavor of these roasted apples.

To sweeten these mouthwatering muffins, Ellie Krieger uses unsulpherated molasses.

Agave or honey can be used to help balance delicious Asian flavors like in this slaw.

One tablespoon of honey per serving is the perfect way to add sweetness to your sweet potatoes.

The perfect marinade for salmon is a combination of soy sauce mixed with a hint of maple syrup.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.

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