You’re trying to cut down on your sugar intake and so you’ve been reaching for items with “zero sugar” across the label. This may seem like a safe bet, but what actually makes these items sweet, and are the additives a better-for-you alternative?
We’ll dive into what’s really going on with zero-sugar foods and whether these are truly a healthy alternative to natural sweeteners.
What’s in Zero Sugar Bars?
As you turn over the ingredients list of a zero sugar bar, you’ll likely see a list of words that are long and hard to pronounce. What these items indicate is the presence of artificial sweeteners. These sugar alternatives are developed with sugar alcohols — but don’t worry, they’re not alcoholic. Instead, they’re made of:
- Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates (HSH)
Sugar alcohols provide a similar taste to table sugar, but are much sweeter so you don’t need to use as much to get the same effect. However, Healthline notes that these types of sugar alternatives have been linked to obesity and diabetes.
Similarly, a medical trade journal, The BMJ, notes that after a research study of 103 ,388 participants over 12 years, a high intake margin of artificial sweeteners were “associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.”
Healthline also found that frequent consumption of artificial sweeteners can cause indigestion, gas, and bloating because the sugar alternatives are not absorbed by the body as they pass through. The health advice resource recommends consuming sweeteners of any kind in moderation — natural sugar or artificial.
Why Honey is the Ideal Sweetener
So what are you meant to do instead? Choosing honey over table sugar could be your best option.
Sugar contains 50/50 glucose and fructose. Fructose is typically found in highly refined foods like sweetened beverages and dessert, and is processed through the liver which can be harmful to people with diabetes, according to Healthline.
On the other hand, honey has a lower glycemic level than sugar. This naturally sweet, golden nectar also has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. You can get honey from a local beekeeper, but the honey you buy at the store is still less processed than sugar.
The one downside of honey is that it has more calories per spoonful than sugar — 64 calories versus 48 calories, respectively.
The Sweetness That Binds Us
If you’re looking for something sweet to look forward to, products made with honey should be the ones you reach for. Perfect Bar snacks pack in a lot of health benefits, including the honey that holds all the goodness together.
Scroll our products for a full list of yummy choices your taste buds will love.