from the urls-we-dig-up dept
We’ve been following diet fads for a while now — and seeing how sugar (in various forms) has been blamed for health problems. Artificial sweeteners are supposed to help us avoid consuming too much sugar (and be more healthy in the balance), but it’s probably not surprising that studies are starting to show that these alternatives to sugar also have their own side effects.
- Aspartame is being removed from Pepsi products, but it’s still in thousands of other items that people eat and drink. Aspartame is one of the most studied food additives, and there isn’t much evidence that it causes health problems such as cancer — although phenylketonurics should stay away from it (as well as phenylalanine or anything that turns into phenylalanine). [url]
- Sucrose (aka table sugar) is a reference on the sweetness scale with a value of 1.0, and other natural sugars such as fructose can be a bit sweeter (1.1-1.8). Other naturally-occurring compounds like chloroform and stevia are orders of magnitude sweeter than sucrose, but you probably don’t want to ingest chloroform. Lugduname is one of the sweetest compounds known, estimated to be over 200,000 times sweeter than sucrose, but it’s not approved as a food additive (yet). People throughout history have been poisoned by sweet toxins (eg. lead acetate), but hopefully we’ll avoid a similar fate. [url]
- Artificial sweeteners might reduce the calories a person consumes (depending on how much a person actually consumes), but these additives may also alter the microbiome in the digestive system, making some people less able to control blood sugar levels. It’s still uncertain what the net effect of artificial sweeteners might be on any particular individual, but it’s probably not as easy as you might think it is to eliminate all added sugar and artificial sweeteners from your diet. [url]
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