Modern consumers eat an alarming amount of sugar each day, which contributes to a myriad of serious health repercussions. Excess sugar consumption causes obesity, dental problems and insulin resistance, among many other issues. Unfortunately, the medical community has yet to reach a consensus on whether sugar is bad for the body in controlled amounts. While certain alternatives, such as agave, stevia and sucralose, are sometimes touted as alternatives, these substitutes are far from perfect themselves.
Consumption of sugar continues to rise each year, as millions of individuals eat diets packed with unhealthy ingredients. While certain foods, such as candies, desserts and soft drinks, clearly pack a sugary punch, manufacturers also place sugars in everyday products like baked goods, condiments and sauces. In order to combat the challenges these ingredients pose, some health professionals have advocated for the adoption of alternative healthy sweeteners, as they believe sugar is bad for consumers.
The claims that accompany supposedly healthy sweeteners include lower caloric values and a reduced impact on the body's internal systems. For example, while sugary drinks and foods raise blood pressure and contribute to heightened levels of uric acid, many doctors have claimed that alternative sweeteners do not carry the same risks. Unfortunately for consumers, some of the same medical doctors have now withdrawn their previous statements in support of sugar alternatives, leaving consumers confused about their dietary decisions and whether sugar is bad for them.
At the heart of the matter is the effect sugar has on the human body, as well as the makeup of various sweeteners. All sweeteners are composed of fructose and glucose, but scientists and medical professionals have yet to reach a consensus on how the body processes these products. Some doctors now believe that fructose is more detrimental than glucose, which has lead to a backlash against previous darlings of the health food industry, like agave. Experts understand that excess consumption of sugar is bad, but are sweeteners even worse?
Without definitive evidence that explores whether sugar is bad enough to merit the usage of sweeteners, consumers feel torn as to the best course of action. There is no perfect solution, but avoiding consumption of sugary products certainly has a positive effect on human health. In lieu of a final word on sweeteners, consumers may wish to merely limit all sugars, instead opting for natural products like fruit for their sweet fix.
As the scientific community continues to invest in experimentation with sugars, consumers should take extra caution when buying sugars and sweeteners. While there is no question that too much sugar is bad for the body, small amounts may be preferable to other sweeteners. Unfortunately, without a final ruling on the subject, consumers are left in the dark about a serious health issue.
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