Artificial Sweeteners; be it Sweet N Low, Stevia, Sugar in the Raw, with so many options, WHICH DO YOU CHOOSE? When you have a sweet tooth and love your coffee, cereal, soda etc., is picking artificial sweetener the best choice? Let the artificial sweetener debate begin!
Sugar substitutes were originally created by accident in 1879, when two Johns Hopkins University scientists, hoping to find a miracle drug, discovered saccharin instead. Saccharin is a non-caloric coal-tar derivative that is 300 times sweeter than sugar. Later, in 1913, Saccharin was banned from use as a food additive, but then later declared to be safe during the sugar shortages of World War I. In 1972, the FDA. removed saccharin from its Safe list and put temporary limits on its use due to studies suggesting an association with the development of cancer. Finally, saccharin was removed from the United States’ list of carcinogens in 2000 when research was determined inconclusive and irrelevant to the times.
So what’s the verdict on Artificial Sweeteners? Where do we stand TODAY?
The public’s concern of sugar substitutes is based on older studies that tested the association between consumption of sugar substitutes and development of cancer in rats (not humans) and used extremely high doses of artificial sweeteners. According to the National Cancer Institute, there is no strong evidence that artificial sweeteners cause cancer in human.
So yes, artificial sweeteners contain no calories and they may aid in weight loss. A new study suggests however, that the lack of calories could also have a counterintuitive effect on the body. This means that a body accustomed to sugar substitutes can become confused when the same body then consumes real sugar and may not release insulin (the hormone that regulates blood sugar and blood pressure).
So the best advice: try to limit your added sugar intake, and if you are craving sweets, eat fruit or other wholesome food with natural sugars!!!