There are a number of products that may be considered as artificial sweeteners. While these products serve a purpose, they might not be suitable for everyone. The main formulas are often made from synthetic and chemical materials. As a result, there are instances when the body may reject such products and experience unpleasant side effects.
One of the possible side effects of consuming artificial sweeteners is bloating. This gas comes from the body not completely being able to absorb the sweeteners. There is the potential to experience diarrhea from such formulas as well. Sorbitol and mannitol are known to cause both of these reactions. In fact, in the United States, food items that contain such ingredients must have a warning on the label that eating too much of the product can cause a “laxative effect”.
Although many diabetics have seen great relief in their diets due to artificial sweeteners, there is some reason for concern. Bloating may be uncomfortable but having diarrhea can dehydrate the body. Dehydration potentially causes other health related issues. According to the American Diabetic Association, the daily consumption of sorbitol should not be higher than 50 grams while the intake of mannitol for this time period should not be higher than 20 grams.
Because of the origin of artificial sweeteners other than the two already mentioned, such as aspartame, sucralose and others, there are many ongoing debates regarding the long term safety of these products. There are natural sweeteners that can be used as alternatives if you don’t want to take the risk of side effects whether long or short term.
Natural sweeteners available
There are numerous options in terms of natural sweeteners. Honey, cane sugar, brown rice syrup and barley malt syrup are great choices for cooking, baking, and for using in beverages. Although these substances contain carbohydrates and calories, because they are natural substances, these components are considered to be healthier than other alternatives.
In the case that you are diabetic, there are options such as Stevia. This is a natural substance derived from the perennial shrub. Stevia contains no calories, is low in carbohydrates, but is sweeter than sugar. Another alternative may be xylitol. This substance comes in the genetically modified and the organic forms. It is usually made from corn and is also low in calories and carbohydrates.
It should be noted that consuming any type of sweetener can have side effects. These reactions may be influenced by individual sensitivities; the purity of the product; and how much of the sweetener is consumed. It is recommended that you monitor how much you take in of either of these products.