The average American consumes 400 calories per day in added sugars! Although refined sugar consumption is increasing, artificial sweetener consumption is as well. For years artificial sweeteners like saccharin, ACE-K, sucralose (Splenda) and aspartame have been debated in terms of their potentially damaging side effects. According to the FDA, technically these sweeteners are considered to be "safe," but due to their side effects, they are becoming under intense scrutiny. Side effects from consuming artificial sweeteners include mood disorders, impairment of kidney and liver function, shrunken thymus glands, migraines, and headaches.
There are fortunately natural sweeteners that are both tasty and healthy alternatives to artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, and refined sugars. The Journal of the American Dietetic Association published a study that showed that substituting healthy sweeteners - including honey, maple syrup, and blackstrap molasses - may increase intake of antioxidants. The study showed that when 130 grams of refined sugars (average intake) per day were replaced with healthy natural sweeteners, it can increase the amounts of antioxidants you are consuming every day, in amounts that are similar to consuming nuts and berries.
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