Not So Sweet Sugar Substitutes

The holidays are full of great treats and it’s the one time a year (almost) everyone pulls out their mixer and attempts a cookie recipe or two! The holidays are also a time when we tend to overindulge. Thinking about using a sugar substitute in your recipe to save some calories? Think again! Artificial sweeteners can be dangerous, some even believed to cause cancer. Here’s a breakdown of the two most common (and dangerous) sugar substitutes on the market today.

Aspartame. A common chemical sweetener found in many popular diet sodas and low-sugar goods. This is the one you really want to stay away from! It’s been linked to everything from causing diabetes to some cancers!

Sucralose/Splenda. This is one of the best-selling sweeteners around the world. Splenda consumption has been linked to blurred vision, headaches and even weight gain. Tread lightly especially when using Splenda to bake. When heated, it can release choloropropanols which are in a family of known toxins.

With all of the information we have to date, some experts recommend replacing sugar with Stevia. Stevia is extracted from the leaves of the stevia plant and it contains zero calories. Unfortunately, it doesn’t heat well so it’s not a good substitute for holiday baking. Since coming to the US, there have been a lot of stevia knock offs so always read your labels. Keep in mind that the label “natural ingredients” is vague and could still include a variety of questionable ingredients.

o what’s the best sugar replacement? Honey! A truly natural sweetener that has many health benefits of it’s own.