Tips to a Happier You in 2012~The Artificial Sweetener Conspiracy




Since we’ve been talking about how sugar affects your health, I thought it would be helpful to look into the plethora of sugar substitutes available to us today that are FDA approved. 


My research, most of which I already knew, brought me back to the conclusion I shared in an old blog post, God’s Pharmacy. We just can’t leave well enough alone. God gave us some great stuff when he created the earth! But we insist on manipulating it to suit our desires. 


Here is a great list of the FDA approved artificial sweeteners available to us I found in an article on the Spark People website: 


Acesulfame-Potassium (Acesulfame-K) goes by the brand names Ace-K, Sunett and Sweet One. It is a combination of organic acid and potassium that is often blended with other sugar substitutes.

  • 200 times sweeter than sugar
  • 0 calories per gram
  • Heat stable (can be used in cooking and baking)
  • Produces no glycemic response
  • ADI: 15 mg/kg body weight per day

Aspartame goes by the brand names Equal and NutraSweet. It is composed of two amino acids (proteins), aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Aspartame is one of the most thoroughly tested food additives, according to the FDA. People with the rare heredity disease phenylketonuria (PKU) should not consume aspartame.

    • 160-220 times sweeter than sugar

 

  • 4 calories per gram (metabolized as a protein), but because such a small amount is needed to sweeten foods and beverages, the calories provided by aspartame are considered negligible.
  • Not heat stable (cannot be used in cooking or baking)
  • Produces a limited glycemic response
  • ADI: 50 mg/kg body weight per day

 

 

Neotame is one of the newest artificial sweeteners approved for use in packaged foods and beverages.

    • 7,000-13,000 times sweeter than sugar

 

  • 0 calories per gram
  • Heat stable (can be used in cooking and baking)
  • Produces no glycemic response
  • ADI: 18 mg/kg body weight per day
  • Rapidly metabolized and excreted

 

 

Saccharin goes by the brand names Necta Sweet, Sugar Twin and Sweet ‘N Low.

    • 200-700 times sweeter than sugar

 

  • 0 calories per gram
  • Heat stable (can be used in cooking and baking)
  • Produces no glycemic response
  • ADI: 15 mg/kg body weight per day

 

 

Stevia (Rebaudioside A) goes by the names PureVia, Sun Crystals and Truvia. It is a steviol glycoside, one component of the stevia plant that provides sweetness.

    • 250-300 times sweeter than sugar

 

  • 0 calories and 0 carbohydrates per gram
  • ADI: 0-4 mg/kg body weight per day
  • Metabolized by the body into steviol, which is not absorbed in the blood and therefore leaves the body unchanged

 

 

Sucralose goes by the brand name Splenda.

    • 600 times sweeter than sugar

 

  • 0 calories per gram
  • Heat stable (can be used in cooking and baking)
  • Produces no glycemic response
  • ADI: 5mg/kg body weight per day
  • Poorly absorbed and excreted unchanged

 

 

Want to know what they all have in common? They are all synthetic chemicals


I could write all day on the dangers of these artificial sweeteners. The lists are unending of the problems they can cause, the studies the have been done to prove their safety (or risks), and the questions they leave unanswered.


Now here’s a fun little list of possible dangers of artificial sweeteners

  • Weight gain (I know, quite ironic isn’t it?)
  • Headaches
  • Allergies
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and Panic Attacks
  • Gastro-intestinal disorders
  • Cancer
Pretty scary, right? 



The stevia seems to be the most promising of possibilities for a good natural sweetener, but  the form approved by the FDA sold in the US has been chemically altered. 


So why do we put these chemicals in our bodies? 


I’m going to give you some great articles to read if you’d like to read further, but I’m summing it up. 


In one of the articles I read on the safety of Stevia and the concern for it’s FDA approval, this statement stuck out like a sore thumb: 


In the U.S., we like to go to extremes,” adds toxicologist Ryan Huxtable of the University of Arizona in Tucson. “So a significant number of people here might consume much greater amounts.” (Nutrition Action)



Now read today’s prescription verse. Yes, I know it’s about wine—a little wine that is— but shouldn’t it apply to everything? It’s about moderation and using what God gave us. When it comes to sugar and artificial sweeteners, I’m going with plain old unsweet. If I must have something sweet, a little cane sugar (the most natural form of sugar we can buy) seems to be the safest answer. If the natural form of stevia is easy to buy, I will use it as well. As for all the rest, STAY AWAY! They are nothing but trouble. 


Hope you found this post helpful! 

From my heart,

Celeste



P.S. Here’s the link to my stack of delicious article if you’d like to do some more reading for yourself: The Artificial Sweetener Conspiracy


P.S.S. Don’t forget to read Monday’s post for make-a-change Monday. I have one great tip for you to help you change sugar habits that I didn’t reveal today 😉


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