To Splenda or To Splen-don’t? That is the Question.
Why artificial sweeteners are bad for your health.
Maintaining a healthy diet is important in leading a good life; however, eating well is becoming more and more difficult every day. Marketing companies are fooling the public into thinking they are eating right, when in fact they are not. Food labels such as “low-fat”, “fat-free”, and “sugar free” do not always mean what they say. If a product says “sugar free” on it, there is a good chance an artificial sweetener is used in replacement for natural sugars, which is not good for your health. It has been proven that artificial sweeteners such as Splenda and Sweet n’ Low are linked with cancer.
Why are artificial sweeteners used?
Artificial sweeteners act sugar substitutes for reasons such as for weight control, diabetes, and dental cavities. Artificial sweeteners do not have any nutritional value; therefore they do not have any calories. This is appealing for those who are interested in cutting calories without eliminating the taste of sugar. Replacing sugar with any artificial sweetener greatly reduces the caloric intake of that food, but the other side-effects can be detrimental. People with diabetes turn to artificial sweeteners in order to control their blood sugar levels since artificial sweeteners are not carbohydrates. Finally, people replace sugar with artificial sweeteners because they do not decay tooth enamel and do not contribute to tooth decay. Although these reasons may sound appealing to some people, artificial sweeteners are not all they are cracked-up to be.
The dark side of artificial sweeteners.
Scientists have conducted research on mice that indicated artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharin cause cancer. Aspartame is the sweetener that is found in Equal. The chemical makeup of aspartame includes methanol which breaks down into formaldehyde and then into formic acid through the digestion process. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and this is coming from aspartame that is injected through foods. Extended use of aspartame is linked to lymphoma, leukemia, and mammary cancer in both male and female lab mice. Another artificial sweetener, saccharin, was so detrimental to health that foods that contain it have a warning label on the packaging. The label reads, “Use of this product may be hazardous to your health. This product contains saccharin which has been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals.”
Are there alternatives?
Yes! There are alternatives to using sugar and artificial sweeteners and still keep satisfying that sweet tooth. There is a natural, no-calorie sweetener that has entered the market. It is called Stevia which is extracted from a South American plant. This new sweetener is not linked to cancer in any way; there have been no genetic mutations in human immune cells. Stevia blocks the growth of cancer cells in vitro, inhibits inflammation of human immune cells, and regulates blood pressure. Stevia can be found in a sweetener called Truvia that is sold in stores.