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Alicia D.

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Artificial Sweeteners: Are they Necessary?
By: Alicia D.   |    December 30, 2011   |   3 Comments (0) (0)

healtj pilgram

Artificial Sweeteners have been used throughout the years in our diets to help aid in weight reduction. But my question is: Are they necessary? Artificial sweeteners are used for healthier diets, but honestly they may reduce calories, but do not reduce weight loss in some cases depending on the particular sweetener used. Since birth as humans we have been wired to love sweets, it’s a comfort food for us. Beverages, candy, cookies, cakes and etc, are all comfort foods that contain sugar or sugar derivatives. A lot of foods and beverages contain, Splenda, Truvia, Equal and Sweet n Low just to name a few of these artificial sweeteners.    

    The history of the first sweetener of which was Saccharin was discovered in a lab by Ira Remsen in 1879.Ira Remsen failed to wash his hands after working with some coal tar derivatives. He noticed a sweet taste to the rolls he was eating for dinner and traced this back to a compound in his lab. The difference between sugar and artificial sweeteners is one has calories and the other does not. Sugar contains calories and in the body that sugar is turned in to energy that we burn now any of that energy that is no used is stored in the body as fat.  On the other hand an artificial sweetener has no calories and the body does not recognize the sweetener so therefore you can enjoy the sweet taste without the calories. 

          There was an experienment done with lab rats by Dr. Davidson and Dr. Swithers with sugar versus sweetener. “Rats are fed yogurt along with their usual rat chow and water. The basic idea is that one group of rats gets a diet in which sweet taste predicts an increase in calories; they get yogurt sweetened with glucose. The other group of rats gets a diet in which sweet taste does not predict an increase in calories; they get yogurt sweetened with saccharin. Even though the saccharin-sweetened yogurt group actually got fewer calories from their yogurt, they gained more weight than the group fed yogurt sweetened with glucose. At the end of 5 weeks of study, the saccharin-fed rats had also gotten significantly fatter than the glucose-fed rats.  So the evidence in the rat study shows that the weight gain was from the rats that consumed the sweetener. 

    There is a big market for the artificial sweetener but when you shop for your sweetener, make a choice that is going to be healthy for your body. I feel sugar used in moderation is the healthier choice. Beverages have the most sugar content in all the food on the market, if the beverage was eliminated from your food consumption, which would aid in contributing to weight loss. Make smart choices in the foods and drinks you consume, and your body will thank you in the end.   


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3 Comments on this Article

Alicia D. commented on January 3, 2012

I absolutely agree with you Randy, I use Agave as my sweetner sometimes.

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Randy commented on January 2, 2012

Sugar moderation is indeed the healthier choice vs. artificial sweeteners. We haven't had sugar in our house for years. I fell into the trap of focusing on diet products that made you gain weight. After learning that most diet sodas affected your metabolism and caused weight gain, I cut them out completely, but, temptation would often take over. Then we found sodas sweetened with Stevia, an all natural, no calorie sweetener. This now allows me to enjoy an occasional soda without the guilt! FYI, Truvia (Coke)and PureVia (Pepsi) are blends based on extracts from the Stevia plant, but are not pure Stevia. Since they use all natural ingredients, they are not artificial sweeteners, but natural sugar substitutes. Truvia has now become the number 2 sugar substitute in the US.

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LCavalletta commented on January 1, 2012

Would rather not use artificial sweetners and limit use of other natural sweetners. It's a new year after all ;-)

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