Artificial Sweeteners seem to be in everything that you buy at the Supermarket now days, and yet, very little is actually known about them by those of us that are consuming these chemicals. Let’s look at Artificial Sweeteners. You’re probably familiar with the brand name sweeteners such as Equal, Sweet-N-Low, NutraSweet and Splenda.
Sweet-N-Low is saccharin, it is 300 times sweeter than sugar, and is used to sweeten products such as drinks, candies, cookies, medicines, and toothpaste. It has been shown to cause cancer in rats. Because the data was so convincing, the FDA and the USDA tried unsuccessfully to ban saccharin in the 70’s. Products containing Saccharin were required to carry a warning label on them, but this law was repealed in 2000.
Equal is aspartame and is found in many of the foods we consume every day, including soft drinks, chewing gum, breakfast cereals, and jams. Studies have shown that aspartame, made from GMO bacteria, increases appetite, and is known to cause nearly 90 different adverse symptoms. Animal studies have shown that aspartame also has the ability to alter the brain chemistry.
Splenda is sucralose and is made from sugar and a chlorine molecule. Sucralose is very sweet, almost 600 times sweeter than sucrose alone and has been associated with immune, kidney and liver dysfunction.
Acesulfame K is 200 times sweeter than sugar. There has not been much research on Acesulfame K, but it has shown to be carcinogenic in a few animal studies.
Not only do artificial sweeteners come with the possibility of adverse health conditions, but recent research indicates that artificial sweeteners may actually make you gain weight. While weight gain from something with zero calories may seem counter intuitive, it’s actually a byproduct of evolution.
For centuries when our ancestors consumed a rare sweet treat, they also got with it a life sustaining calorie boost. It was not until the 1970’s that sugary foods and drinks became a daily occurrence, not a rarity. But, the body does not evolve that fast, so when you consume something sweet, your body still looks for the calories that history has taught it will be coming with the sweetness. When that caloric boost fails to arrive, the body sets off the hunger signals and we end up eating more than we planned on.
If you are going to eat something sweet it is far healthier to get your sugar from fresh fruit. If you really want sugar, then have real sugar, or honey.