More About NutraSweet and Other Sweeteners
Aspartame has been associated with a multitude of health risks and has largely lost favor around the world. Consider that the FDA had its concerns and denied approval of aspartame for 16 years before it finally gave in to political/economic pressure. This controversial artificial sweetener was approved through an interesting chain of events. When then-president Ronald Reagan brought Don Rumsfeld, former CEO of the aspartame manufacturer, Monsanto, to Washington, a new FDA commissioner was also hastily appointed. The new commissioner approved the artificial sweetener and then went on to become a consultant for NutraSweet’s public-relations firm, receiving $1,000 a day for the next 10 years!
Aspartame, commonly known as NutraSweet or Equal, is an artificial sweetener. The body breaks it down into methanol and formaldehyde to metabolize it. Methanol toxicity causes depression, brain fog, mood changes, insomnia, seizures, and similar symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis. Formaldehyde is grouped into the same class of drugs as cyanide and arsenic. When the temperature of aspartame exceeds 86 degrees F, the wood alcohol in it is turned into formaldehyde and then into formic acid. Formic acid is the poison contained in the sting of a fire ant.
There are over 92 symptoms documented from using aspartame.
Brown or Raw Sugar
It is often said that brown sugar is a healthier option than white sugar. But you can chalk that claim up to clever marketing. In reality, brown sugar is most often just ordinary table sugar that is turned brown by the reintroduction of molasses. (Normally, molasses is separated and removed when sugar is created from sugarcane plants.) In some cases, brown sugar—particularly when it is referred to as “raw sugar”—is merely sugar that has not been fully refined. But more often than not, manufacturers prefer to reintroduce molasses to fine white sugar, creating a mixture with 5%–10% molasses. This process allows them to better control the color and size of the crystals in the final product.
Because of its molasses content, brown sugar or raw sugar does contain certain minerals not present in white sugar: calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium. But since these minerals are present in only minuscule amounts, there is no real health benefit to using brown sugar.
An Unexpected Immune Zapper: Splenda
A study done at Duke University and published recently in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health has some interesting news about the sugar substitute known as Splenda (sucralose). Splenda is an artificial sweetener derived from raffinose, a starch derived from sugar beets. The chemical sucralose, which contains chlorine, is marketed this way: “It comes from sugar, so it tastes like sugar.” But it isn’t natural at all. According to the study, the use of Splenda has several effects on the body:
• It reduces the amount of good bacteria in the intestines by 50%. The bacteria in your bowels, some 100 trillion of them—about three pounds worth—outnumber the cells in your body by a factor of 10 to one. These bacteria, also called gut flora, line your intestinal tract and serve as your first line of defense against potential pathogens (viruses, bad bacteria, and yeast). They play a crucial role in establishing an overall healthy immune system. When bad bacteria and or yeast become overgrown in your intestinal tract, you have a condition called dysbiosis. Dysbiosis has been linked with disorders like yeast infections, irritable bowel syndrome, and autoimmune disorders—including rheumatoid arthritis.
• It increases the pH level in the intestines. The stomach needs an acidic environment in order to digest food and destroy potentially harmful pathogens, including unwanted bacteria and yeast. Low stomach acid triggers a chain reaction of digestive disorders, including malabsorption. Foods may be incompletely digested and subsequently absorbed into the bloodstream, where they can lead to food allergies, triggering pain and inflammation throughout the body.
• It contributes to increases in body weight.
The study researched male rats over a period of 12 weeks.
A Natural Alternative: Stevia
For a healthy alternative to sugar, my first choice is the natural sweetener Stevia. It is a South American herb that has been used as a sweetener by the Guarani Indians of Paraguay for hundreds of years. The leaves of the small, green Stevia rebaudiana plant have a delicious and refreshing taste that can be 30 times sweeter than sugar, so a little goes a long way. For more info, visit www.stevia.com. You can find Stevia at any health-food store. While it may take time to get used to its taste, it won’t deplete your good bacteria (like Splenda), increase your risk of cancer (like Sweet’N Low), or cause neurotoxicity (like NutraSweet).
OK so push comes to shove and you can’t find Stevia when out on the town-use Sweet'N Low.
Yes, Sweet'N Low. I know it is supposed to cause cancer and kill you in a single teaspoon, but this a myth not the truth. The truth is that the cancers where only seen in mice who were fed tons, truck loads of this stuff over a short period of time. I don’t think you’d ingest this much in a life span. But again my first choice is Stevia.