Just how bad are fake sugars for you? Let’s just start by making you aware that saccharin was discovered over 150 years ago by a chemist working with coal tar. Coal tar — you know, a well-known carcinogenic material. Studies dating back to the 1970’s concluded that saccharin was linked to bladder cancer in laboratory rats. If that isn’t evidence enough…… Yet, a gazillion conflicting studies later and we still have an issue that remains under intense debate. Saccharin is sold under brand names such as Sweet and Low®, Sweet Twin®, and Necta Sweet®.
In 2013, The European Food Safety Administration deemed aspartame “safe” at current usage and exposure levels, going as far as to say it won’t cause cancer. However, the Center for Science in the Public Interest denounced this review stating it was a complete “whitewash” of the truth.
So what do we know for sure? There have been enough studies to show these zero-calorie sweeteners are posing health risks, even if Cancer has been pushed aside, and they certainly are NOT helping people to lose weight. Aside from the fact that many of these sweeteners are made from genetically modified crops, they literally trick our body in dangerous ways. They mimic high calorie intake, in turn, tricking the gut and the way we taste food, while offering no true source of energy. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to inflammation and inflammatory conditions such as IBD, Obesity, Diabetes, and more.
Sucralose is the additive marketed as Splenda®, a chemically altered version of our natural sucrose. Sucralose is produced by chlorinating sucrose to change the molecule structure, trading three hydroxyl groups for three chlorine atoms. You heard that right, we are allowing ourselves to consume another well-known carcinogen, chlorine, to rid of the calories. I can’t for the life of me understand how exactly the FDA can allow for this to be used on our food and drinks, but I digress.
Aspartame, sold under the names of Equal®, NutraSweet® and Sugar Twin®, can be found in thousands upon thousands of products. Evidently, some falsified reports from the Searle Company have come to light since their statute of limitations expired, shedding light on some serious discrepancies between what has been reported and the actual findings. In fact, 80% of all food additive complaints involved NutraSweet. Is this sweetener toxic? Aspartame has been investigated as having possible links to headaches, dizziness, memory loss, fatigue, diarrhea, epilepsy, birth defects, mental retardation, Parkinson’s, Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, and brain tumors.
Acesulfame potassium, branded under Sunett® and Sweet One®, has been found to contain a carcinogenic chemical called Methylene chloride with long-term exposure being linked to headaches, depression, nausea, mental confusion, visual disturbances, kidney and liver problems, and even cancer.
These dangerous artificial sweeteners are lurking in many of our prepared foods, drinks, and even medications. They have few limitations on how many different names they can assume and hide on our labels (see below). They can be found in children’s vitamins, toothpaste, mouthwash, cough syrup, gum, zero-calories waters and other beverages, alcoholic drinks, candy, baked goods, yogurt, cereals, snack foods, prepared meats, salad dressings and more. Please continue to follow research, learn as much as you can, and avoid them at all costs. While the FDA may label these as “generally safe”, much of the information above says otherwise. If you need to sweeten, go for the real thing. While regular sugar, and anything that sweetens should remain in moderation, there are safe and natural alternatives including honey, natural maple, and stevia. In fact local honey (in major moderation) and all natural stevia have shown plenty of promise FOR your health, not against.
CHECK YOUR LABELS! These toxic fake sugars are known to be listed under a number of different names including:
- Acesulfame potassium
- Sweet ‘N Low