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The Pros and Cons of Artificial Sweeteners

Sugar is only about 11 calories. And yet it has been attributed to obesity and what-not these days by people everywhere. In realizing that a substitute had to be in place, artificial sweeteners ( the word “artificial” here is very annoying) came into being which are mostly are basically zero calories, and yet again there was controversy especially over the artificial sweetener known as “aspartame”.

So which is better? Honestly, if you ask me… God only knows!

The controversy that surrounds this whole artificial sweetener controversy just beats me… and only goes to show that people will believe anything these days!

I’m not taking any sides but I’m used to using table sugar (sucrose) for my sweet needs, while several folks might have switched to sweeteners only to switch back, thanks to the reports of the many ill-effects of artificial sweeteners.

Are these concerns valid, and all just to save 11 calories per tablespoon of sugar?

It’s a question that I don’t have an answer to, but I can safely say that table sugar is what I’ve stuck with… and I intend to keep it that way. But for those who want to know more about artificial sweeteners, let’s look at the choices and what makes it so controversial.

Artificial Sweeteners

Yes, the FDA approves all of them. (Isn’t that the case always?)

And yes, all sweeteners are zero calories as opposed to the 11 calories for sugar which pales in comparison to the large number of calories that we rack, thanks to packaged foods that have gotten away with murder.

There are pros and cons to the business of consuming artificial sweeteners, and if one has a sweet tooth, this can lead to several issues such as cavities, obesity (what???) and so on and so forth.

However, sweeteners are divided into two types: nutritive and non-nutritive sweeteners. The former contains calories and provide energy while the latter does neither… and here is a list of the artificial sweeteners that are available in the market today.

List of Artificial Sweeteners

So here is a list of the most popular artificial sweeteners made available:

1. Aspartame

2. Acesulfame-K

3. Saccharin

4. Splenda

5. Alitame

6. Cyclamate

7. Sorbitol

And even though a lot of people have suggested that artificial sweeteners are bad for health, the FDA has immediately recommended daily levels. And perhaps that should be obvious even for those who consume a lot of table sugar.

C’mon, you can’t have so much sweetener and think you can get away with it… most of them are almost 600 times sweeter than sugar… shouldn’t that tell you something?

And then there are the high fructose corn syrup health risks that are unfortunately added in good measure in every packaged product that is a proud American product as it is a food additive. Experts go as far as to say that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is present in almost 40 % of supermarket products and is accused to be linked to Type 2 Diabetes as well as heart disease and obesity.

The truth: Noone can tell for sure!

In Closing

And who knows? Much like people assumed that the cholesterol in eggs were harmful for our cholesterol and reversed that understanding, one can only expect the speculation between the which is healthier sugar or sweetener debate to continue.

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