Sugar is a hot topic and has been for centuries. Some consumers avoid it; others seek it out at every opportunity. With more and more research coming out about the downsides of sugar alternatives, attention is shifting back toward the advantages and value of real sugar. In this guide, we discuss artificial sugar vs. real sugar and explain why we use real sugar in our gummies to help people like you live life to the fullest.
Is real sugar a better alternative to artificial sugar?
Consumers who seek out artificially sweetened products may do so in an effort to limit calorie intake, help manage weight, and avoid blood sugar spikes, among other reasons. This may be the right choice, depending on context and individual health considerations. However, in many cases, real sugar may be a better alternative. But why?
First of all, sugar is necessary for life. In fact, our bodies run on sugar! If we remove natural sources of sugar and carbohydrates from our diet, our health and well-being may suffer. We may lack the energy we need to achieve our athletic goals or GET __ DONE. In the right amount, real sugar offers many benefits without many of the potential concerns coming to light about artificial sweeteners.
Real sugar is derived from plants like sugarcane, sugar beets, and fruit, making real sugar a more natural option than artificial sweeteners created through chemical synthesis in labs. Real sugar improves the taste and texture of food and beverages. It provides a burst of calories and energy that can be particularly necessary for individuals with high energy requirements, like athletes, multitaskers, and ambitious achievers.
The benefits of real sugar are even more relevant now that studies show specific artificial sweeteners may pose serious health risks. New research indicates that sucralose-6-acetate, a chemical found in the popular artificial sweetener sucralose, may be associated with DNA damage, harm to intestines, oxidative stress, inflammation, and cancer.
Aspartame, another popular artificial sweetener, was recently designated a potential carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). Although more research is needed, aspartame may pose a cancer risk if consumed above the acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 0-40 milligrams of aspartame per kilogram of body weight. For context, a person who weighed 150 pounds would need to consume more than 17 12-ounce cans of diet soda containing aspartame in a single day to exceed the ADI.
You are correct if you think real sugar also poses health risks when consumed in excessive amounts. But unlike real sugar, aspartame and other artificial sweeteners do not provide a comparable extent of added health benefits at any level. In light of ongoing research about the potential health concerns and risks of artificial sweeteners, real sugar looks pretty sweet.
How do artificial sugar vs. real sugar compare?
Let’s take a closer look at how artificial sugars and real sugars compare.
Real sugar is a naturally occurring ingredient in many foods, such as honey, maple, and fruit. Cane sugar comes from sugar cane and sugar beet plants grown on farms worldwide. Only minimal processing is required to transform the sugar cane or sugar beets into granulated sugar. In contrast, artificial sweeteners are manufactured through complex chemical processes formulated in laboratories.
Real sugar makes food taste better, adds texture, and helps preserve food. On the other hand, artificial sweeteners can change food flavor and create tastes that some people dislike.
Another term for artificial sugars is non-nutritive sweeteners, meaning they do not contain any calories or nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, or fiber. The only health benefit artificial sugar offers is the lack of sugar or calories that may be helpful for individuals with certain health concerns. In contrast, real sugar sweeteners like honey, molasses, maple syrup, jaggery, and fruit juice contain antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that can boost health and well-being. Cane sugar can also be beneficial because the body breaks it down into fructose and glucose, and it is then used as a primary energy source to power brain activity, bodily processes, and athletic activity.
As we discussed above, the commonly used artificial sweeteners sucralose and aspartame present potential health concerns. Stevia, another popular non-sugar sweetener, may cause nausea and bloating in some consumers. Real sugar can also pose some health concerns, but only if consumption exceeds the body’s needs. If more sugar is consumed than the body requires for immediate energy, the excess is stored in the muscle cells and liver as glycogen. When those storage centers are full, the rest is stored as fat. Excess weight is linked to many health issues, such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and liver disease. Real sugar also helps bacteria grow in the mouth, potentially leading to cavities and other oral health issues.
What are the health benefits of real sugar?
Real sugar may offer notable health benefits, including the following:
Provides a Boost of Energy
Before and during a workout, real sugar can give your body energy and fuel to increase performance and stamina. After a workout, real sugar can replenish depleted glycogen stores in muscles, potentially reducing muscle soreness and supporting muscle growth.
Supports Brain Function
Did you know the brain relies upon glucose, a form of real sugar, as its main source of energy? In fact, out of all the organs in the body, the brain consumes the most sugar. Real sugar, and healthy glucose metabolism, provide fuel for essential brain functions like learning, memory, thinking, and regulating blood flow throughout the body.
Helps with Weight Management
When people try to eliminate sugar from their diet entirely, the loss of calories from sugar may be compensated by increasing intake from other sources. This can lead to an imbalance of nutrients and potentially contribute to weight gain. As a part of a healthy diet, the right amount of real sugar can help people eat a balanced diet. As a part of regular exercise habits, the right amounts of real sugar can help people achieve new levels of performance and body tone.
Why does Seattle Gummy only use real sugar in their products?
Here are the top 7 reasons why we use real sugar in our products:
Real sugar is easy for the body to digest.
Real sugar converts to energy and fast!
Real sugar boosts endurance over long periods of time.
Real sugar tastes delicious.
Real sugar replenishes depleted energy stores.
Real sugar helps you recover from intense workouts.
Real sugar fuels the brain.