Great article on artificial sugars-“Zero Doesn’t Equal Zero”

With all the conflicting information out there on what is healthy, what is not, and what we should be eating, it can be confusing for the general population.  Advertising seems to have really worked,  convincing folks that the industry is looking out for the best interest of the people.  There’s so much information out there saying real sugar is bad, it makes sense, for those who don’t know to read beyond, that sugar-free would be a good alternative.  I even had a family member filling her baby’s bottle with Diet soda, because it is “sugar-free and he’s too wound up already”.  WOW.  I didn’t think people were really buying the idea, but I guess all those millions of advertising dollars is paying off, not for the people’s health, but for the pocketbooks of the sugar-free industry.

Read the following article.  Cynthia does a great job clearing up any misconceptions.

Zero Doesn’t Equal Zero

Americans consume 14 pounds per person per year of artificial sweeteners. That’s a lot!   The belief is that these zero calorie drinks will aid in weight loss.  There are actually no studies showing that people who drink diet sodas lose weight.  In fact, the opposite may be true.  Some research indicates that the overly sweet taste makes the body think that a load of carbohydrates will follow.  When there are no calories (just chemicals) as part of the drink the body thinks …hmmm, muffin sounds good, doughnut even better.

Diet sodas made their introduction into the marketplace in 1952 with a sugar-free ginger ale called No Cal.  The drinks Diet Rite and Tab appeared quickly after that.  These first diet soft drinks were sweetened with cyclamates which the FDA banned in 1970 because the chemical caused cancer in lab rats.

Cyclamates were replaced by saccharin which is basically made from benzoic sulfinide.  In 1977 the FDA banned its use because saccharin also proved to be carcinogenic.  The substance caused bladder cancer in rats.  The ban on saccharin was lifted in 1991 but by them all of the diet soda manufacturers were using aspartame.

If you want to read some interesting political intrigue, read about the roller coaster ride of the FDA’s approval of aspartame (Nutra-Sweet).  According to the FDA’s own audit on aspartame, the Bressler Report, aspartame triggers brain tumors, mammary tumors, pancreatic tumors, ovarian tumors, pituitary adenomas, uterine tumors, etc. A senior FDA toxicologist, the late Dr. Adrian Gross, who tried to prevent the approval of aspartame, told Congress that it violated the Delaney Amendment because it triggered brain tumors (Congressional Record SID835:131 – 8/1/85).

Aspartame was slammed through the approval process anyway and further studies became scarce or squelched.  A careful and thorough 2005 study by European Journal of Oncology showed again that aspartame induces lymphomas and leukaemias in rats. This study was virtually ignored by the U.S. media.  Does anyone see a diet soda/cancer trend here?

Regardless, some consumers became wary of Nutra-Sweet and a new diet soda sweetener emerged – Splenda! This chemical sweetener is a synthetic compound discovered by scientists in Britain seeking a pesticide formulation.  It is made by replacing hydroxyl groups in the sugar molecule with chlorine.  There are no long term studies done available.  Short term studies (by manufacturers) showed shrunken thymus and enlarged kidney and liver in rodents.  A 2008 study showed that ingestion of Splenda disrupts the number and state of balance of intestinal microflora and may potentially interfere with many essential gut functions, including nutrient metabolism, normal immune system functioning, gastrointestinal mobility, inhibition of pathogens and so on.   That doesn’t sound good.

So if the pink, yellow or blue packets on your restaurant table are all questionable choices, what’s a sugar-free addict to do?  What color will the next packet be?  Guys, it’s already in the Cargill plant and it’s called “Truvia – nature’s perfect sweetness”.  Hard to find clean information on this new incarnation of stevia (which is an herb with extremely sweet leaves),  but I’ll dig up what I can for next week.  In the meantime, try the  Rooibios Raspberry Soda or add some Lime Boost to sparkling water because even though these drinks have a few calories, you know what’s in them.

reposted article from Cynthia Lair’s website http://www.cookusinterruptus.com

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Categories: check this out!, nutrition

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