A Sweet Debate

One of the most controversial topics recently has been sugar and sugar substitutes – which is the better of the two evils?

Sugar vs Sweetener

Many people use artificial sweeteners to replace normal refined sugar, both as a general health habit and as a weight control aid. Artificial sweeteners are found in more than six thousand different types of food and drinks. They can add sweetness similar to sugar without the added calories. They can help diabetics control their blood sugar levels, as well as help those individuals dieting to control their total caloric intake.

The problem with artificial sweeteners is that there are a plethora of studies that associate them with multiple health risks, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. However, for every study that shows artificial sweeteners are harmful, you’ll find just as many that state they are not. In short, after all the studies that have been done on the topic,  the jury is still out.

Sugar on the other hand, is a basic carbohydrate, which usually comes from sugar cane or sugar beet but can also come in other forms such as that found in fruit, honey, and maple syrup. In comparison to sugar substitutes however, you’ll find very little debate on the harmful effects sugar can have on the human body.

The problem with sugar is generally in its excessive consumption, which has been associated with increased incidences of type 2 diabetes, obesity and tooth decay.

So what is one to do?

The key to the sugar debate is moderation. Sugar, when consumed in small amounts, may not be detrimental. The same goes for sugar substitutes – when consumed appropriately, they are generally safe. But be aware that artificial sweeteners are not a magic bullet. While they can help with calorie-reduced diets, one still needs to focus on eating a healthy, nutritious, diet and regular exercise.

Sugar and Protein Supplements

Many health conscious individuals, who exercise regularly, consume protein supplements to optimize their workouts and supplement their protein requirements. Protein powders nomrally contain artificial sweeteners to maintain taste while decreasing simple carbohydrates. An alternative for those looking for a sugar-free and aspartame-free protein powder is IsoNatural. This pure whey protein isolate has no artificial flavors, sugar, sweetener, or color additives. IsoNatural contains a high concentration of protein, and mixes well into smoothies. So while the controversy continues over the sugar-sweetener debate, IsoNatural offers bodybuilders and strength athletes an alternative that is safe and effective.

Lauren Coles

Lauren is a personal trainer and nutritionist. She is a recent Brock University and Ryerson University graduate from the Food and Nutrition program, who is passionate about eating, cooking, running, and weight training. Lauren hopes to one day compete in fitness competitions.

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