WHO Issues Advice On Non-Sugar Sweeteners, Here’s To know

On May 15, the World Health Organisation (WHO) released new guidelines discouraging the use of NSS, non-sugar sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin, stevia, and its derivatives as a "healthy" substitute to sugar. Non-sugar sweeteners should not be used to regulate weight or lower the risk of diet-related non-communicable illnesses, according to a 'conditional' guidance issued by the World Health Organisation. In 2015, the World Health Organisation (WHO) connected a high intake of free sugars to weight gain and obesity, which put NSS under the microscope. 

However, NSS are not a miracle cure for obesity. While they can aid in calorie restriction, they are not effective for weight loss unless accompanied by a nutritious diet and regular exercise. 

Sweetening foods and drinks without significantly increasing caloric intake or influencing blood sugar levels is possible with the use of non-sugar sweeteners, commonly known as sugar replacements or artificial sweeteners. Some alternatives to sugar that are widely used are Aspartame, Sucralose, Stevia, and Saccharin amongst others.

How about using jaggery and cane sugar as alternatives? 

Cane sugar and jaggery are good alternatives to white sugar since they are more natural and have a lower glycemic index. And unlike refined sugar, they're packed with healthy stuff like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It's crucial to remember, though, that even these substitutes include calories, so they should be used sparingly. People with diabetes or other health issues should check with their doctor before adding sugar or sweetener to their diet. 

Natural Sugars To use 

Whole foods that contain sugar but also include other beneficial nutrients and fibre should be prioritised when looking for healthier sugar sources. Here are a few examples: 

Fruits: Natural sugars, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre are all things you may get in fresh or frozen fruits including berries, apples, oranges, and grapes. They're deliciously sweet while still being healthy. 

Dates: Dates are a healthy alternative to refined sugar and can be used in a variety of recipes. The amount of fibre, potassium, and antioxidants in them is impressive. 

Raw Honey: When used sparingly, raw honey can replace white table sugar as a healthy sweetener. It's a good source of enzymes and antioxidants, and even has some trace vitamins and minerals. 

Coconut Sugar: The sap of coconut palm trees is refined into coconut sugar. In addition to containing trace amounts of minerals including iron, zinc, and potassium, its glycemic index is lower than that of table sugar. 

Molasses: Molasses is a thick and hearty sweetener that is produced as a byproduct of sugar cane or sugar beet manufacturing. Minerals including iron, calcium, and potassium can be found in it.