Advertisement

Reduce Three Risks with One Sweetener Switch

Reduce Three Risks with One Sweetener Switch

Choosing the right sweetener could help control your blood fats, your risk of gout, and your pants size.

The swap you should make? Kick fructose-sweetened prepackaged beverages and foods out of your diet. And when you need a little something sweet, try a smidge of stevia in your bowl or glass instead.

Fructose: The Full Story
Most sodas—as well as bunches of other prepackaged foods -- are sweetened with a form of fructose called high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). It's so ubiquitous in prepackaged foods that roughly 10 to 12 percent of people's daily calories come from this added fructose. But, unfortunately, a growing body of research is showing a relationship between excess fructose in the diet and a host of health ills, from gout and high triglycerides to increased appetite and weight gain.

Something Sweeter
So the next time you crave a sweetened ice tea or the like, see if a little stevia might fit the bill instead. Or you could try a touch of agave nectar. Stevia is made from the stevia plant, and agave is made from cactus. Both have a calorie count that is similar to sugar, but because they are loads sweeter, you need only a fraction. Like any no- or low-calorie sweetener, stevia and agave aren't perfect. But consuming them instead of fructose is a step in the right direction.

Medically reviewed in April 2018.

Are Artificial Sweeteners Really Healthy?
Are Artificial Sweeteners Really Healthy?
One 2017 study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that “consumption of nonnutritive sweeteners was associated with increases in weight ...
Read More
What artificial sweeteners are safe for people with diabetes?
dLife - It's YOUR Diabetes Life!dLife - It's YOUR Diabetes Life!
People who cannot tolerate artificial sweeteners might be able to handle stevia, which is a natural ...
More Answers
How safe are artificial sweeteners for people with diabetes?
Baptist Health South FloridaBaptist Health South Florida
The artificial sweeteners on the market are generally recognized as safe by the U.S. Food & Drug Adm...
More Answers
How Artificial Sweeteners May be Causing Weight Gain
How Artificial Sweeteners May be Causing Weight Gain