For as much damage as sugar is supposed to do to the body, the alternative meant to appease our sweet tooth may be even more harmful. Artificial sweeteners were once considered less harmful than traditional sugar. Turns out, they may not be.

A study from the Weizmann Institute of Science concluded that sugar substitutes could potential case the very problems they are supposed to prevent. The researchers reported that artificial sweeteners (e.g. nutrasweet or Sweet-n-Low) could harm the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, leading to glucose intolerance and causing metabolic changes that can lead to obesity and diabetes.

More research will be necessary before the results can be considered fully conclusive, but it is worth noting that one of the lead study authors stopped using artificial sweeteners as a replacement for sugar in his coffee.

Some natural alternatives you might consider are honey or stevia. The more natural sugars you can get, like fruit, the better overall. While agave syrup has often been touted as a good sugar replacement, some studies suggest it can be just as bad.

How to get off of refined sugar

Are you one of those people that loves three or more teaspoons of sugar in your tea or coffee? Ouch! Add that up over a week and that’s a lot of refined sugars. And your body craves it because you’ve trained it that way. Believe it or not, once you cut sugar out of tea and coffee you’ll probably find it actually tastes better! Seriously!

To wean off of sugar, take it slow and steady. Quitting instantly can be drastic and doesn’t always work. Instead, start cutting back slowly, but set a goal, like getting down to half the amount over two weeks, then half again until you get to maybe less than half a teaspoon. Maybe try some honey instead. Research has also shown that you get more health benefits from tea and coffee without sugar, especially teas high in antioxidants like Rooibos or Green Tea.

More Knowledge: You might also find this article on why fat makes us feel full helpful!

Author: Alex Hurst is a team writer for Optimyz.

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