On this episode of Live Lean TV Food Wars, I compare the differences between zero calorie natural sweeteners vs. artificial sweeteners.
Yes, it’s stevia vs. splenda.
If you’re new to Food Wars, this is the series where we put two foods head to head, to see which food belongs in the garbage, and which one belongs in your kitchen.
But before we get into today’s two foods, I just wanted to let you know I’m on Instagram @BradGouthro, Twitter @BradGouthro, and Facebook @LiveLeanTV, so make sure you check me out over there as well.
Alright lets get into today’s Food Wars, zero calorie sweetener edition.
Yes, it’s going to be a war between Zero Calorie Natural Sweeteners vs. Artificial Sweeteners.
Now just on the title alone, it should be pretty clear as to which one should be in your garbage.
But before you stop reading, I want you to understand the “why”, because this is a very sneaky and tricky subject in the nutrition world.
Artificial sweeteners are popping up everywhere nowadays since most people are watching their carbohydrate and sugar intake.
This means the consumption of artificial sweeteners is on the rise.
Well, when you look at the nutrition facts of both sweeteners, it’s zeros across the board.
Both of them contain zero calories and no sugar.
But even though this is true, you need to understand what you’re actually putting into your body.
Artificial sweeteners are comprised of man made chemicals from a factory.
It really doesn’t make any sense why you would choose to put artificial sweeteners into your body when there are healthier, plant based, zero calorie sweetener options.
Unlike artificial sweeteners, zero calorie, plant based, natural sweeteners like stevia is derived from an herb in South America.
Even though stevia has been around for thousands of years, its just recently gaining popularity as a healthy sugar substitute.
Studies are showing that most of the sugar free foods and zero calorie drinks sweetened with artificial sweeteners can actually make you gain weight.
For example, these studies compare people who drink full sugar sodas, versus people who drink diet soda, sweetened with zero calorie artificial sweeteners.
They concluded that three years later, the people who drink diet soda, usually gain more body fat.
The reason is the chemicals in the artificial sweeteners may be making people crave more sugar and unhealthy foods.
So even though it’s a zero calorie diet soda, it’s creating more hunger, thus leading the people to eat more calories throughout the day.
Although I don’t feel comfortable telling you that you’re better off drinking the full sugar soda rather than the diet soda, I’ll just say this.
If you’re going to drink soda, choose zero calorie soda sweetened with stevia.
Be careful with the foods you’re eating.
The perception that a food is healthy because it has a “sugar free” label is misleading.
A lot of the times these sugar free foods and drinks are sweetened with artificial sweeteners.
If the food or drink is marketed as sugar free, look for an option that contains stevia.
If it’s artificially flavored, try to reduce your consumption of it.
You’ll often find them in your flavored oatmeal, sugar free drinks, and protein powder.
Artificial sweeteners are essentially in every food or drink that should have sugar, but is marketed as sugar free.
So look past the big bright labels on the package, read the ingredients list, and be aware of what you’re putting into your body.
Just because it says zero calorie or sugar free, it does not mean it’s healthy for your body.
When possible, focus on consuming natural, one ingredient foods and drinks.
To be honest, I have the occasional artificially flavored Rockstar energy drink.
But that is on rare occasions.
Remember, progress, not perfection is the goal of Living Lean.
In particular, stevia.
Yes, other zero calorie sugar substitutes like truvia, xylitol, and erythritol are considered natural sweeteners, but stevia is the best.
So if your goal is to Live Lean, artificial sweeteners are going in the garbage and the natural sweetener, stevia, is going back in your kitchen.
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This starter guide includes all the steps to healthy eating and working out.
It includes a 4 week “Hot Body” workout program, meal plan, and cooking videos from our TeamLiveLean.com group coaching website.
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If you missed it, check out last week’s Almond Butter vs. Peanut Butter episode of Food Wars.
Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.