Are You Artificially Sweet?

I was reading an Email from SparkPeople (click to read article) about whether or not artificial sweeteners are good for you or not. Did you know that products that say “sugar-free” are actually sweetened with other sweeteners? And there are so many artificial sweeteners. So what’s the low-down on sweeteners? Good pun, eh? Ok, ok, I’ll watch it.  But according to food labelling, “sugar-free” does not mean that there are NO natural sugars in the product. I need to take them all to People’s Food Court“! In the USA,  the FDA has approved six non-nutritive sweeteners for use in the United States: acesulfame-potassium, aspartame, neotame, saccharin, stevia (Rebaudioside A) and sucralose.

Holy Crap, Batman, we are being attacked by the chemical hordes, except for good old stevia and the jury is still out on that one.There are official safe levels of these substances humans are allowed to consume without “health risks” beyond allergic reaction which can happen with any substance. For example I am not going to consume 20 cans of sugar-free pop in one day. I have trouble drinking 8 glasses of water.

So, sugar-free products do help diabetics avoid “bad” sugar but it is the glycemic index that is the real blood sugar effector in that issue! I’m still learning about that one myself. What I do know is..lower carbs = lower blood sugars. The industry has shown that if food with sugar is replaced with “sugar-free” foods, people will lose weight if they consume the same amounts. Calories (carbohydrates) have been reduced. Duh!

But does the artificial stuff affect how you consume? For me? For sure! If I have one bottle of sugar-free pop, it’s usually too sweet for my taste and when it’s gone I can still taste that chemical sweet taste in my mouth. Ick!!! So I avoid the whole range. I don’t drink any pop! I drink my coffee ,black and my steeped tea, plain. I like water and have a hard time finding water with no sweetener but flavour added.  I like fruit in my yogurt and if it’s really sour – a wee bit of honey. Sucralose doesn’t like me. It’s a product created when chemists rearrange sugar molecules so that our body can taste it but doesn’t recognize it as sugar and then excretes it. My problem with it is that my body wants to excrete it quickly! But some studies discovered that the more artificially sweetened things you eat, the more you crave. And anyone with a weight issue knows,  “We don’t need no stink’n crav’ns!”

So, can I be sweet (blood sugar and temperamentally) without artificial sweeteners or are the substances that I already consume good enough? I like a wee bit of juice with sparkling water. I love lime water and lemon water. Water with cucumber slices is so refreshing and try a cardamom seed in your drinking bottle! Then there are the commercial waters like Metromint. Absolutely pure water and flavour! No sweeteners, artificial or natural! Mint, spearmint, peppermint, lime, orange etc…. and your breath smells nice, too! Are our North American palates so screwed-up that we need artificial sweeteners added to flavoured water? Most people would say “yes”. I say suck it up – literally!

So, maybe I’m not so sweet, but I sure do not like artificial sweeteners and I don’t want to cook with them if they are chemically altered and may change with heat and other ingredients. Now if they made an artificial fat…

Thanks for listening. ;D Diane

~ by 1fatgirlshrinking - Diane Kirby on July 10, 2012.

One Response to “Are You Artificially Sweet?”

  1. This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!

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