Friday, October 14, 2005

Sugar 'Taste Test' Comparison To Splenda Turns Blind Eye To Impact On Health

I couldn't resist sharing with you this press release bragging about how consumers "overwhelmingly prefer pure cane sugar to Splenda in taste tests." Ooooookay, let's see what this is all about.

Not surprisingly, the suspicious "taste tests" were commissioned by the C&H Sugar Company and was conducted on June 9 and 10 in Redwood City, California and Buffalo Grove, Illinois by an independent market research company. This "independent survey" found that people who cook fresh baked desserts such as brownies were much more pleased with the taste, texture, and appearance of pure sugar cane (which C&H sells) than either Splenda or Splenda Blend (which is C&H's primary competition). I wonder how objective a study paid for by a company against it's #1 competitor is REALLY gonna be? But I digress.

They go on in the press release to show statistics that allegedly prove that people prefer pure cane sugar over Splenda and even found a pastry chef from a restaurant in San Francisco to slam Splenda on their behalf.

"Sucralose (Splenda) tends to block flavors provided by other ingredients, especially chocolate," this pastry chef said. "Brownies baked with Splenda and Splenda Blend don't offer the rich cocoa flavor or taste of those made with pure cane sugar. They are dry and dense."

He goes on to sing the praises of the product made by C&H Sugar Company to help them solidify their point even further.

"Pure cane sugar adds more than sweetness to recipes; it also provides bulk, moisture and browning. Artificial sweeteners do not," he explained. "Why would you want to sacrifice the taste of something you love just to save a few calories?"

This is where I have to step in to steer this debate back in the right direction.

Is this "world renowned pastry chef" really telling people to ignore the nutritional content of sugar and to just eat, drink, and be merry gorging yourself on sugar?!

I have been using Splenda almost exclusively since I started livin' la vida low-carb and losing over 180 pounds since January 2004. It is 600 times sweeter than sugar and can provide people who are wary of the impact sugar can have on their weight with an alternative way to give the foods they eat sweetness.

Despite the advancements in sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners in recent years, I am still seeing people scrunch up their nose at me when I tell them I don't eat sugar but rather sugar-free products. That's what one television reporter who interviewed me the other day about my weight loss did. I assured her and others who react like she did that the taste is absolutely fabulous.

When I was addicted to sugar at the beginning of my low-carb lifestyle, there was a transitional period where my body had to wean itself off of the negative effects of sugar and literally detoxify itself from the years of damage that had been done to both my weight and my overall health. I discuss these issues in a special chapter on sugar of my book "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" because this is much too important an issue to turn a blind eye to.

Even "The Biggest Loser" personal trainer Bob Harper said in an exclusive interview with the "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog recently that "sugar is a very powerful and strong drug that people are extremely addicted to" and "has most everything to do with our problem with obesity." Why aren't we listening to voices like this one and pushing harder to provide the public with the truth about sugar? There are fundamental facts that should not be overlooked about how sugar is impacting the health of the American people.

Nobody will argue with you that consuming a lot of sugar can and will harm your body. It's an understood fact, although millions of people still consume it like there's nothing wrong with eating gobs and gobs of sugar.

But I saw what it can do firsthand to a person's body (MINE!) and it's not a pretty sight. The cravings and headaches that come when I didn't get my "hit" of sugar would slam me in the face like a cast iron skillet until I stuffed my face with even more sugar. Over and over again, that ruthless cycle continued until I "got clean" last year. Thankfully, that rollercoaster ride is one that I don't ever plan on getting on again. It's just not worth it!

Thanks to products like Splenda, I can enjoy the great sweetness of sugar without suffering the consequences it will have on various aspects of my health. Quite simply, Splenda is a miracle product for people who are livin' la vida low-carb. Sure, there are some like my friends Connie Bennett and Regina Wilshire who do not promote ANY sugar or sugar substitutes as part of a healthy lifestyle, but a lot of people are like me and need to have some sweetness in the foods we eat.

This little "taste test" released by a sugar company really means nothing regarding comparisons to Splenda because they only show the front-end qualities of their product. On the back end over the long-term, sugar will do more to pack on the pounds and destroy people's health than Splenda ever will. That's why I said goodbye to sugar once and for all nearly two years ago. And so should you!

I guess I've just invited Qorvis Communications back to my blog again today with this post! :-O

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Blogger Connie said...

Jimmy, thanks for pointing out this interesting study funded by a sugar company. Clearly, sugar companies are worried, because Splenda has been eating into their sales.

But, as you so rightly pointed out, yes, over-consuming sugar can cause many, many health problems.

However, I urge you, as I've done previously, to really find out more about Splenda before consuming it in large amounts.

Please see my two recent posts about Splenda.

Ironically, another great source of info about Splenda, is, in fact, the sugar industry-sponsored site,

You also might want to check out Visit from toxicologist Dr. Janet Starr Hull.

And, thanks, Jimmy, for the mention.


10/14/2005 5:00 PM  
Blogger helenmas said...

HI - yes you are right to never put sugar in your mouth again. I have no idea why this anti-nutrient is not slammed more in the press. It actually impacts greatly on the immunne system as well as doing the same thing to your entire body as it does to your teeth.
I use a little splenda not a lot I actually mix it with either stevia or xylatol. And find I hardly need any sweetner at all. I make all my own low carb chockie treats & believe me they are even more tasty than the old sugar stuff. In fact sugar now tastes like the poison it really is & I can't stand the smell of it let alone the taste.
Terrific Blog & good luck with the book !!

10/17/2005 1:39 AM  

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