Saturday, July 22, 2006

FDA: Sugar Substitutes Strongly Suggested

Once villified, artificial sweeteners have now been FDA-approved

This SAWF News story about the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) encouraging Americans to use more sugar substitutes to help them lower the number of calories they are eating and to help them eat less sugar as part of an effective weight loss plan makes this supporter of artificial sweeteners extremely happy to hear.

The FDA strongly endorsed and suggested people in the United States begin using these products more often to manage their weight and health in a new fact sheet entitled "No Calories...Sweet!" published in the July/August issue of FDA Consumer magazine.

The five sugar substitutes featured include aspartame (aka Equal and Nutrasweet), acesulfame potassium (aka ACE-K), neotame, saccharin (aka Sweet N' Low), and sucralose (aka Splenda). Except for neotame which I've never heard of, I wrote about each of these in the "Sugar Is Rat Poison" chapter of my book. I personally prefer using Splenda, ACE-K and stevia (which was not on the list because the FDA is too hardheaded to approve it as a sweetener just yet), but the FDA gives sweeping approval to all of these products.

Here's what the FDA said about the safety of consuming each of these alternatives to sugar.

"The FDA evaluates a sweetener's composition and properties, how much of the substance is likely to be consumed, and various types of safety studies. For each of the approved sweeteners, the typical amount used by U.S. consumers is well within designated ‘acceptable daily intake levels (ADI),’ or levels that can be consumed safely every day over a lifetime.“

Sorry sugar industry, it looks like you've been bitten in the butt yet again and caught in a purposeful public deception campaign (which have apparently been effective in scaring the public) with your ongoing coordinated attacks against Splenda (as this timeline of events so clearly demonstrates).

The FDA is calling your bluff on those allegations now, Sugar Association, and I believe they should stand ready to take action against you if you continue to spread these lies about Splenda and the other sugar alternatives in the future. The battle lines have already been drawn in this fight, so let this serve as your warning.

The fact is that artificial sweeteners have been found to help people lower their calorie intake, reduce their carbohydrate intake and give people an effective sweetening product that will not cause their blood sugar levels to spike like sugar does while helping them shed pounds and reduce their need for insulin. With diabetes and obesity getting worse and worse by the day, it's about time an agency like the FDA recognizes the tremendous good these products are having helping people overcome weight problems and manage their health.

A great example used in the story is to do something as simple as buying sugar-free chocolates rather than sugary ones. This will save you 50 calories per day and take off 5 pounds by the end of the year. Just imagine what would happen if you replaced all of those sugar-loaded foods you eat now with sugar-free ones sweetened with any of these FDA-approved alternatives? Badabing badaboom -- weight loss, baby!

Not everyone is so convinced of the safety of these products, but I have absolutely no problem using Splenda or ACE-K especially. What do you think about this move by the FDA to publicly endorse sugar substitutes? What's that all about? If you have been worried about their safety, does this now put your mind at ease about consuming them or do you still stand firm in opposition to using them? Share your thoughts on this subject with everyone.


Blogger Anwen said...

If I consume anything with aspartame, I get headaches. This is true of a high number of people I know. Sure, it's anecdotal evidence, but I am damn sure I'll be avoiding them as much as possible.

Also, my good friend S has severe insulin resistance, fibromyalgia, PCOS, and various other health problems, and sweeteners actually cause worse insulin spikes for her than natural sugars.

7/23/2006 5:15 AM  
Blogger AnOldHouse said...

I've heard of more than one person who has bad reactions to consuming Splenda (sucralose) but only when it is in the "bulked up" powdered forms. All of the packeted and cup-for-cup measurable artificial sweetners are bulked up with maltodextrin, a low-density sugar that IS caloric! It is generally not found in diet sodas and most other "products" made with artificial sweetners.

So, if you are having a bad reaction to artificial sweetners, it could be from the type of sugar used to bulk it up, not the artificial sweetner itself.

7/23/2006 5:09 PM  
Blogger Anwen said...

It is generally not found in diet sodas and most other "products" made with artificial sweetners.

Which is the only artificial sweetener I consume. Also, if I use (assuming that they didn't just taste revoltingly bitter) artificial sweeteners, how am I going to learn not to want everything to be super-sweet?

7/24/2006 2:41 AM  
Blogger Ross said...

I find it incredible that the FDA will approve a chemical such as aspartame with much evidence of harm, and not stevia with no evidence of harm. Could it be that aspartame is manufactured by big business in the USA and stevia is made from a plant, which anyone can grow?

Anyway, I found a couple of good articles on the subject of aspartame toxicity and the benefits of stevia.

7/24/2006 2:55 AM  
Blogger Hellistile said...

Since I am extremely insulin resistant and watch my blood sugars very carefully,I have discovered the following about artificial sweetener, including Stevia:
Powerderd Sucralose (Splenda), Sweet and Low, Sugar Twin will contain maltidextrin and/or dextrose (Sugar Twin only contains 33% Saccharin so the first ingredient at 66% is DEXTROSE)
Liquid Stevia CAN contain glycerene which is very high in carbs
Powdered Stevia contains rice maltidextrin
Equal tablets - first ingredient is lactose (milk sugar)
Liquid Sugar Twin contains benzoic acid (don't even know what that is)

What all these sweenteners have in common is that they are 0 or next to no calories. But they definitely spike blood sugars.

I have found Stevia in tablet form that contains nothing but Stevia and it's working very well.

So read your labels. It's not the artificial sweetner itself that's the probem, it's all those seemingly no-calorie fillers that end up spiking your blood sugars just like real sugar.

7/24/2006 2:46 PM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

Pure stevia and liquid Splenda - if pure - are safe and do not contain any ingredients that influence insulin levels. Unfortunately, liquid Splenda is hard to get.

7/25/2006 7:09 AM  

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