The Sweetener You Really Should Not Use, According to Health Experts

- Although there are health benefits to drinking coffee or tea completely black, this bitter drink is an acquired taste for many. 

With that said, many of us sweeten our morning beverages with sugars, creamers or other sweeteners. 

While this doesn’t seem like a big deal in the moment, consuming one type of sweetener every day could wreck havoc on your gut health as you age, experts warn.

We checked in with registered nutritionists, dietitians and other health aficionados to learn more about this one sweetener they recommend avoiding for optimal gut health, and what to choose instead. 

Read on for tips, suggestions and insight from Lisa Richards, registered nutritionist and creator of The Candida Diet and Christine VanDoren, CN, CPT, certified personal trainer and nutritionist at Sporting Smiles.

Tip #1— Skip Refined Sugar For A Healthier Gut

Refined sugar, which is commonly called table sugar, Richards says, is a "type of sugar that is harmful for many reasons." 

This type of sugar is sucrose, she adds, which she explains is "highly inflammatory as well as a food source for bad gut bacteria." 

Inflammation and an overgrowth of harmful gut bacteria will result in "negative health effects in many areas of the body," she stresses. 

While this sugar can be found naturally occurring, the "synthetic or commercially made sugar should be avoided as much as possible."

#2— Opt For Monk Fruit Sweeteners Instead

For those that need their coffee sweet, Richards suggests monk fruit as "a great option." Monk fruit extract, she notes, contains "some incredible compounds that are 300-400 times sweeter than cane sugar." 

But, and here’s the real kicker, it’s virtually calorie-free. "That means it won’t affect blood sugar levels, and it won’t rot your teeth," Richards says. (Sounds like a win-win!)

VanDoren agrees, and says that while there are many sweeteners out there to choose from for your coffee, "monk fruit appears to be one of the most natural options." 

While it contains zero calories per serving, she reiterates, it "will not contribute to any weight gain" or stomach pain. The FDA considers the sweetener to be safe, VanDoren concludes, and "there are no known harmful side effects."

Author: Marissa Matozzo


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