Beyond Babedom

We're (way) over 40. Deal with it.

The Low Down on Low Cal Sweeteners

Studies done by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) have found that the safest sugar substitute is. . . Splenda (sucralose)! Hooray, since that’s my favorite. More than 100 studies have confirmed its harmlessness, according to More magazine (and based on studies by the CSPI, FDA, Calorie Control Council, etc.).

Stevia doesn’t need any approval to be sold, since it’s an ingredient “generally accepted to be safe”, so some critics say that there hasn”t been enough testing to prove it isn’t harmful. Over 200 studies have shown Aspertame (Equal, NutraSweet) poses no health risks, but some rat studies raise questions about it’s possible link to cancer.

30 human studies done since the 1970s have found no connection between saccharin (Sweet’N Low, Necta Sweet) and bladder cancer. The claim of any such connection was dropped in 2001. And, finally, Acesulfame K (Sunnett) has been subjected to 90 FDA studies with no safety issues arising, but critics claim they weren’t done very well.

Why bother with sugar substitutes at all? Hold on to your seats, ladies; this info from More magazine will make your head spin:

  • 40-59 year old Americans down 350 calories a day in added sugar. That’s 130 more a day than in 1991, mostly from beverages.
  • Sugar gives you wrinkles Apparently, excess fructose from sugar (from sugar or high fructose corn syrup) attaches to collagen and skin proteins and changes their structure, causing sags and wrinkles. Another good reason to put down that doughnut (or french fries). Oh, by the way, that “healthy” fruit flavored yogurt? From 11 – 35 grams of sugar.
  • Sugar increases the risk of yeast infections Yuck. Candida albicans fungus feeds on sugar. The good news? If you have an infection, cutting back on sugar can help starve out the yeast pretty quickly
  • Sugar harms your heart One 12-ounce can of regular soda a day can increase your risk of a heart attack by 24%; two or more raises that to 35%. . . and pretty quickly, too.

According to Dr. Robert J Johnson, author of The Sugar Fix, your aim should be to eat no more than 8 teaspoons of sugar a day. Just look at the nutritional labels, look at the “total carbohydrates” number and divide it by 4. FYI a single can of regular soda has 10 teaspoons.

My conclusion: I’ll stick with Splenda. Tastes the most like sugar, even when heated, with no funny aftertaste. And when I make desserts with Splenda, no one is the wiser (until now!).

One final caveat: sugar substitutes may actually make you gain weight, since your body loses its abilty to gauge how many calories you’re taking in and cause you to overeat.

Oh, well.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 at 4:29 PM and is filed under Stash. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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