What About Artificial Sweeteners?

As the person who plans and makes the family meals but is also trying to lose weight, I look at every healthy option available. This led me to investigate artificial sweeteners. There are always new options becoming available but there are for the most part six in the United States:

Aspartame (Equal) is probably the most common of artificial sweeteners and one I would not recommend. Even though it has been declared “safe” by the FDA and is used in most diet soda, there have been numerous reports of seizures and other problems linked to it. In a report to the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, it was stated that common side effects linked to Aspartame include dizziness, visual impairment, ear buzzing, severe muscle aches, high blood pressure and much more.

Saccharin (Sweet’n Low) has been around forever and at one time was thought to be a cancer causing agent. Certain studies were rats got tumors on their bladders when given incredibly high amounts that would be equivalent to a person drinking 800 cans of diet cola a day. Saccharin has been declared “safe” by the FDA when used in moderation.

Cyclamate (Sugar Twin) has a cloud of concern around its use because of cancer in rats. It has been used in food and beverages since the 1950’s and is thought to be safe in small amounts.

Sucralose (Splenda) is basically a chemically altered version of sugar and is 600 times sweeter. This chemical alteration prevents the digestive system from recognizing and absorbing it, so it doesn’t cause the rise in blood sugar and insulin associated with sucrose (sugar).

Erythritol is a natural sugar alcohol that has virtually no glycemic impact and tastes great. Erythritol can be used in beverages. Several companies have come to market with erythritol in individual serving packets.

Stevia is an herb sold as a food additive, which has no real side effects except for a weird after taste that some people do not mind. I did mind. But if you would like to give it a shot, it can be found at any health food store.

As the diet meal planner in my family I was interested in which one I could cook with. You can only cook with three of these artificial sweeteners; Sweet’n Low, Sugar Twin and Splenda. But before you make any changes in how you sweetener your food, do your own research.

For over a decade I have been contibuting content to health and fitness online publications.

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