When you’re working toward optimal health, cutting down on sugar is one of the most important steps you can take. Many people choose to replace sugar with artificial or natural sweeteners, so today, we’re going to talk about what you need to know about sweeteners!
The idea of a low-calorie replacement for sugar is commonplace now, but the first artificial sweetener was discovered by accident. In 1879, a chemist named Constantine Fahlberg was eating dinner after working in a laboratory and noticed that residue on his hands was making his food taste sweet. He returned to his lab and started tasting everything in sight. The result was the very first artificial sweetener: saccharin. Since then, many other artificial sweeteners, such as sucralose and aspartame, have been developed.
Over the years, a lot of research has been done on artificial sweeteners. Some, like cyclamate, have been banned by the FDA for their detrimental effect on health. Others, including saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame, are FDA-approved as food additives. However, many people choose to avoid these artificial sweeteners because they’re highly processed and offer no nutritional value.
As their name implies, natural sweeteners come from natural sources. Many of them have been used for hundreds or even thousands of years. They can come from fruit, honey, raw maple syrup, plant leaves, or other sources in nature. While there is usually a bit of processing to get it from the source to your table, they’re less processed than artificial sweeteners.
At Yoli, we use a natural sweetener called stevia to sweeten our beverages. Stevia is derived from the leaves of the stevia plant, which is native to South America. It has no calories but is much sweeter than table sugar, making it a perfect sweetener for anyone working toward optimal health!