Continued from page 1

Artificial Sweeteners --Are They Bad
for Your Health?

Last updated October 18, 2016 (originally published January 29, 2009)

By Susan M. Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

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3. Splenda --the Yellow Packets.

Splenda's packet states that it is a combination of 3 things:
Dextrose, maltodextrin and sucralose.  Splenda's sucralose
component is produced by selective chlorination of sucrose
(table sugar), in which three of the hydroxyl groups are
replaced with chlorine atoms.

When words end in "ose" it means that they are sugars. White
table sugar is sucrose. Sugar in the form that it exists in your
blood is glucose.

So Splenda is made up of various sugars -- dextrose",
"sucralose" and something called maltodextrin.  

Dextrose and maltodextrin are added to bulk up sucralose.
These bulking agents also add calories. Even though Splends is
marketed as a "no calorie" product, each yellow packet actually
contains. 3.1 calories. In the United States, the Food and Drug
Administration allows companies to market a product as "zero
calorie" if it has less than 5 calories per serving.  Hmmm.

Splenda has no food (actually, it has very little) energy, so it is
recommended as a sweetener for diabetics.  Sucralose is
approximately 600 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar),
twice as sweet as saccharin, and four times as sweet as
aspartame.

No research study has shown that Splenda triggers the insulin
response, unlike saccharin. So, Splenda should not trigger food
cravings. No research study has linked Splenda with increased
risk of cancer, unlike saccharin.

Recently,
various groups have attacked Splenda because it's
chemical creation requires the use of chlorine. In this respect ,
it is similar to saccharin. Others have attacked Splenda because
of its potential effect on the thymus and because it is alleged to
cause inflammation of the liver.

































A report from the Australian chemical authority, NICNAS, cites
two studies on rats, both of which found "a significant
decrease in mean thymus weight" at high doses. The sucralose
dose which caused the effects was 3000 mg/kg/day for 28
days. For a 150 lb (68.2 kg) human, this would mean an intake
of nearly 205 grams of sucralose a day, which is equivalent to
more than 17,200 individual Splenda packets/day for
approximately one month. The dose required to provoke any
immunological response was 750 mg/kg/day, or 51 grams of
sucralose per day, which is nearly 4,300 Splenda packets/day.


4.
Stevia--sometimes Green packets.

Stevia comes from a plant native to South America and parts of
Central America.   The species that produces Stevia is called
"Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni". It has various other common
names ---"sweet leaf" or "sugarleaf".

When you taste a little of it, stevia tastes like sugar. When you
taste more than 15 drops of it, stevia has an aftertaste that
reminds me of licorice. It is this problem of an aftertaste,
sometimes described by new users as "bitter", that has
impeded Stevia's rise in the American, Canadian and European
markets as a sugar substitute.

Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar.  Stevia's taste has a
slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar, although
some of its extracts may have a bitter or licorice-like aftertaste
at high concentrations.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Canadian
authorities have approved Stevia as a food supplement but not
as a food additive, all of which means you can buy it standing
alone but you won't find it used to sweeten your sodas and  
other commercial ready-made products. You can also find
Stevia in most groceries stores in France and many other
countries in Europe.

Stevia is possibly an natural alternative for diabetics and people
who are overweight or obese.
Stevia has also been found
effective in lowering blood pressure in new research.

Coke and Pepsi have been successful in convincing the Food
and Drug Administration to approve a Stevia-derived product
as a food additive. "Rebiana" is the trade name for a zero-
calorie sweetener containing mainly the steviol glycoside
rebaudioside A (reb-A), which is extracted from stevia. Truvia
is the consumer brand for Rebiana marketed by Cargill and
developed jointly with The Coca-Cola Company.

In December 2008, the United States Food and Drug
Administration permitted Rebiana-based sweeteners as food
additives. PureVia is the PepsiCo and Merisant brand of Reb-A,
for which PureCircle is the supplier.

It's good to be Coca-Cola and Pepsi, right?. They have
succeeded where many others have failed, in creating an entry
point to market Stevia in America. (Update: The Sugar Foods
Corporation now also markets a product in the US called
"Stevia in the Raw".)

Diet soda consumption appears to significantly increase the risk
that you will develop Type 2 diabetes, according to
a study by
the National Institutes of Health. However, the causal link is not
understood. As a precaution, you should avoid diet sodas,
especially of you are already overweight and at risk for
diabetes.

Update:

Stevia Helps to Control Blood Sugar

Do artificial sweeteners increase your appetite for food? How
do artificial sweeteners affect your blood sugar levels?  We
know that artificial sweeteners by definition have no sugar in
them, so theoretically, they should have no effect on your
blood sugar level, right?  Wrong.

Various studies have tried to ascertain whether using artificial
sweeteners increase your appetite in general or make you want
to eat more sweet foods.  In 2010, a group of scientists led by
Dr. Stephen Anton of the University of Florida looked at how
aspartame, sucrose and stevia affected the blood sugar levels
within 2 hours of eating (called the postprandial blood sugar
level). After we eat, typically our blood sugar level rises,  then
subsides as our bodies insulin dampens the amount of excess
sugar in our blood stream. In people who are diabetic, blood
sugar spikes a lot more than normal after eating and stays
elevated for longer, which is why one marker of whether you
are pre-disposed to diabetes is to test how much your blood
sugar spikes after eating.

In the 2010 study,  19 healthy and 12 obese participants were
given 3 different drinks before they ate lunch and dinner. The  
“preload”  drinks  were sweetened with stevia, aspartame or
sucrose.   The drinks with stevia and aspartame had total
calories of 290 while the sucrose drink had 490 total calories.
However, even though the sucrose drink was richer in calories,
the participants who drank the aspartame and stevia-
sweetened drinks did not compensate by eating more calories
at lunch and dinner.  Thus, neither aspartame nor stevia makes
you want to eat more to make up for the lack of real sugar.  

What’s even more startling is that stevia actually lowers your
body’s blood sugar level two hours after you eat. Stevia also
lowered the amount of insulin present in the blood stream after
eating.  This is remarkable when you think about it. If you eat a
meal of, say, steak and potatoes, your blood sugar rises
because of the energy calories in the food. Insulin rises
naturally to counteract the presence of the increased level of
sugar.  But if you drink water with stevia prior to eating,
neither your blood sugar nor your insulin levels will rise as
much as they would otherwise.

Yacon Syrup --The New Best Sugar?

Yacon syrup is made from the root of the yacon plant. Native to
South America, yacon is believed to have been eaten by the
ancient Incas and, today, is still consumed by Bolivians and
Peruvians.

Yacon is rich in a fermentable fiber called inulin and other
fructooligosaccharides which may help to suppress appetite,
boost your immune system and improve your blood sugar
profile, thus reducing your risk fro diabetes.

But, despite these promising claims, there are reasons to be
cautious about yacon. Yacon may cause kidney damage, one
study has found, and it causes intestinal distress, bloating and
nausea in some people. (Read more about
yacon syrup's health
benefits and dangers.)







































Learn more about sugar and its health effects: Sugar The
Disease Connection/ Ideal Breakfast for Diabetics/ Foods That
Lower Your Blood Sugar/Top 10 Health Dangers of High
Fructose Corn Syrup
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