Ever sit down at Denny’s or IHop and use those little sugar packets to sweeten your coffee? Nutrasweet and Splenda fill coffee shops, breakfast places, and homes as popular low-calorie sugar substitutes. The two brands use different sugar alternatives, contrary to popular belief. While you might have heard of sucralose, aspartame may not be so familiar.
Is sucralose the same as aspartame?
Sucralose and aspartame often get confused. Both are artificial sweeteners that are several hundred times sweeter than natural sugar. Both of these sweeteners are found in zero calorie drinks, sugar free drinks, sugar free gums and mint, just to name a few. Many foods that contain these artificial sweeteners will not always disclose the use and hide the sugar from the label or within the label using confusing and complex names. The chemical makeup and taste of both artificial sweeteners are different. Sucralose is made from sugar in a multi-step chemical process in which 3 hydrogen-oxygen groups are replaced with chlorine atoms. Aspartame is made from two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, which are commonly found in foods with protein. Asking if sucralose is better for you than aspartame, is like choosing the lesser of two evils. Both are artificially created and unnaturally sweet. The FDA has approved them to be safe in certain doses per day. But we argue, why worry about how many milligrams of aspartame you can consume when you can mindfully monitor the use other sugar substitutes that won’t maybe cause cancer? The best natural sugar substitute is grape nectar.
Sucralose vs aspartame vs stevia
A big sugar substitute many people gravitate towards is stevia, since it has zero calories and is derived from a plant, so it is deemed natural. Stevia is another one of those sugar alternatives where the jury is still out on whether or not it is truly “good” for you/ what long term side effects it may cause. While stevia may be naturally derived there are many unnatural additives in many stevia forms. Of course not all stevias are created equal, but some are highly processed and contain innutritious fillers. One should watch their sugar intake when using healthy sugar substitutes, but our rule of thumb is the more natural it is, the better. That is why we would recommend grape nectar over sucralose, aspartame, and stevia. While grape nectar does have more calories and actual sugar carbs, they are naturally occurring and from the earth. The more whole foods and natural ingredients you consume, the less you have to worry about the scary side effects that might emerge from a study in 5 years about how A, B, and C cause cancer, kidney disfunction, anxiety, etc.
Is aspartame bad for you?
Aspartame is in way more food and beverages than most people are comfortable admitting. It appears in many medicines, diet sodas and teas, and many products that are labeled “sugar-free”. It is clever marketing, it really is. If these companies and products tell the consumers it’s sugar-free or low calorie, it has to be good for you right? Wrong. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Studies dating back to the 70s have highlighted the dangers of aspartame, but yet it is still approved by the FDA. Here is the catch, “Industry-funded studies have, so far, discovered positive results about aspartame 100 percent of the time in their final reports, while 92 percent of independently funded research finds potential dangers of aspartame.” Now we aren’t saying that artificial sweeteners are the worst thing you could possibly ingest, rather that there is so little is still known about how the body reacts to these artificially engineered sweeteners. Not to mention, our bodies were not made to process products that are some hundred times sweeter than naturally occurring sugar.
Why grape nectar?
When it comes to natural sweeteners, grape nectar is the best option out there. We are not claiming it has less calories or carbs than artificial sweeteners, but it is, without a doubt, more nutritious. If one is mindful about their sugar intake and not consuming in excess natural sweeteners are a great way to sweeten things up, especially grape nectar. Grape nectar metabolizes well in the body, is lower in sugar/carb content than honey, has nutritive qualities unlike any other sweetener out there, and taste delicious. In addition to those wonderful aspects among many others, one of the best parts is it is 100% natural. We can trust in mother nature that the complexity, color, and flavor was put on this earth for us to enjoy. What more could you ask for?