Natural Vs. Refined Sweeteners
September 11, 2018
There is a trend of products in our supermarkets substituting sugar with natural or refined (also known as artificial) sweeteners with less or even zero calories that don’t seem to be going away. These products claim that these sweeteners are healthier than sugars and should make navigating products ingredients list and nutritional panels for the healthiest option easier. Mayver’s believes that natural sweeteners are always best, however, there is still a large question mark around which of these sweeteners are better for you, Natural or Artificial?
Sweeteners are divided into two categories, non-nutritive sweeteners, also known as artificial or ‘intense’ sweeteners these can include Saccharin, Cyclamate and Altiame and nutritive sweeteners, which includes any sweetener made from plants. These can include Stevia, Sorbitol or simply the natural sweetness of any plant-based food. For example, in our Cacao Super Spread we use dates and vanilla Flavour to add natural sweetness, flavour and goodness to out spread.
Basically, artificial is made of chemicals whereas natural comes for the earth. Due to the unnatural nature of artificial sweeteners, your body can have a hard time digesting it which can cause some unwanted side effects including, bloating, laxative effects and an upset stomach. Natural sweeteners can have these effects only if they are consumed in large volumes and as natural sweeteners are often fruit it is due to the high fiber and is not harmful to the body. It is a no-brainer to always try and go with natural.
Need further proof? Nutritionist, Joanna MacMillan agrees stating that when it comes to weight loss and a healthier option she would always recommend natural “It drops the kilojoules and there is no doubt that part of our problem with weight control is to do with having too much added sugar,” she also warned consumers that “It doesn’t mean we should see it as the answer to having a whole load of sweet stuff but used in the correct way, it is a great answer.” She also suggests when baking or cooking and your ingredients alone are not sweet enough, a small amount of stevia is a great nutritive sweetener. However, “Even natural alternatives still have to be derived in a chemical process”.
Hope this read has been informative and helped eliminate some nagging questions on the topical debate of Natural vs Artificial sweeteners. Mayver’s only ever uses natural ingredients to sweeten our products, our ingredients come straight from the earth with zero processing.
Thanks to Joanna MacMillan and Plant-Based Pixie for their in-depth knowledge on this subject.