Saturday, August 11, 2012

Artificial Sweetener Risks


Artificial Sweetener Risks

How bad are artificial sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners are more accurately called nonnutritive sweeteners.
Another name is non-caloric sweeteners.

A detailed scientific statement was published this month on nonnutritive sweeteners. The authors represented the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association.

So, are artificial sweeteners really bad for you?

Nonnutritive sweeteners are safe and may help reduce overall calorie intake.
Nonnutritive sweeteners do not increase blood glucose unlike sugars.
Nonnutritive sweeteners provide no or far fewer calories as compared to sucrose, corn syrup, agave or fruit juice concentrates.

There are 6 nonnutritive sweeteners that are approved by the U.S. FDA:

·      Acesulfame-K  with the brand name of Sweet One
·      Aspartame with brand names Equal or NutraSweet
·      Neotame with the brand name Neotame
·      Saccharin with the brand name Sweet’N Low
·      Sucralose with the brand name Splenda
·      Stevia (stevia glucosides) with brand names Truvia, PureVia and SweetLeaf


Some people fear nonnutritive sweeteners.

Here’s a reminder for those who have not taken a course in chemistry:
            all of these nonnutritive sweeteners are chemicals!

And your body is all chemicals too.
Without chemicals, life would not be possible.
Glucose and water are chemicals.
Cholesterol is a chemical. Hormones are chemicals.
Sodium chloride is a chemical. That’s table salt.

Ethanol is a chemical that’s in all alcoholic beverages. And because of U.S. government mandate, in the fuel for our autos.
Ethanol is known to mess up brain function causing a condition called “drunk”.
And ethanol causes liver and pancreas damage.
Too much ethanol can kill you quickly or, over time, too much ethanol can destroy your liver.

And too much water in the bloodstream can cause a life threatening condition called hyponatremia.

For those with diabetes, over time too much glucose in the blood causes damage to eyes, kidneys and nerves.

Okay enough about chemicals and about striking the right balance.

But nonnutritive sweeteners are artificial not natural. Right?
Come on, is natural the same as harmless or safe?
See my post on that simpleminded notion. 
And what does "natural" mean anyway? 
Strychnine and snake venom and poisonous mushrooms are not artificial.

As we all think about what is best for our body, we need to keep an open mind.

Everything has some risk associated with it.
There’s a good book called How Risky Is It, Really? 
This book deals with how and why we judge and often misjudge risk. 
See the author's website and take his risk quiz.

Our goal should be to learn enough to rationally balance all risks as we try to stay healthy.

Which nonnutritive sweetener do you use?







1 comment:

  1. Equal is my favorite because to me it tastes just like sugar. Once a colleague brought a poundcake to work and invited all of us to partake in this "healthy treat made with all natural ingredients". When I asked her for the recipe she said it included a pound of butter, a dozen eggs, and two cups of sugar! There should have been a warning to include a statin and 10 units of insulin with each slice:)

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