Artificial sweeteners vs sugar

February 22, 2010

Diet Foods, Diets & Nutrition

The human body and especially the brain, was designed to use reserves of blood sugar for its benefit. Without sugar, we would certainly not have life. To function optimally, however, the human body needs a certain amount of sugar, which varies between 0.70 and 1.10 g / l.

What happens when you exceed this amount or if you do not get enough sugar from the foods you eat is too well known. Every day seminars, lectures are held all over the world (perhaps not in Thailand and Pakistan, countries where sugar consumption increased annually by 13%) that try to convince us to live healthy, otherwise … we are given so many counter examples, many of them terrifying, that we got used to ignore them and get back to crunching a chocolate for breakfast.

I am not saying that it is better to keep our harmful habits, but you can not live in a cocoon while the world bombards us daily with new, fresh and very good tasting products. Artificial sweeteners, which are food additives, are much sweeter than natural sugar, they solved this problem. It is known that aspartame, or E951, as it appears on the products, the most famous and controversial sweetener is nearly 200 times sweeter than sugar. Europe consumes 2,000 tones of aspartame annually. Another half a million tones of sugar would be needed to generate the same taste! To have this taste, Aspartame contains two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Other known sweeteners are saccharin and patience, which are natural sweeteners.

Eventually, the need for sweets that many of us feel during a working day has a more psychological explanation; humans do not need pure sugar. This is the view of the world’s best-known nutritionist, Swede Martin Brunnberg, which explains the negative effects of poor dietary habits in his seminars.

“Normally the body does not need sugar. However, the body gets sugar from food starch because starch is sugar. So the best solution is to eat carbohydrates with a low absorption rate not to let blood sugar levels drop. Proteins are also good because they are turned into sugar in the liver and this process is very slow which means blood glucose levels remain at the same level.”

Where do we get these carbohydrates that are so needed for processing sugar in the body? Brunnberg said peas, lentils, bread with seeds, beans and pasta- in small amounts -and homemade musli instead of corn flakes are the perfect foods. If you want to test if a simple food like boiled potatoes has sugar in it, hold a piece in your mouth for half an hour and you will feel a little sweet taste. Nutritionist’s advice!

But what do you do if the cravings start to appear? Are artificial sweeteners a solution? Many people are still confused whether to eat light products which are foods that consist in precisely these sweeteners. There is a fight world wide between the associations to prevent cancer or diabetes who claim that these artificial sweeteners bad for the body and those that say just the opposite.

”It is not yet proven whether they are or are not dangerous, but sugar has proved that it can cause cancer. I think that sweeteners may be an alternative, but my opinion is to not use any of them, because the sweet taste stimulates the appetite. If you avoid sugar for several days, the appetite returns to normal. In my case, I eat very fast, but I never felt the need for sugar, so it is hard for me to understand this addiction of sweet foods” said Brunnberg Martin.

Recent studies made by important organizations in the field prove that artificial sweeteners and, especially, aspartame, have no connection with dementia, cancer, behavioral disorders, hair loss and other diseases relied on some sites. International agencies like the Food Standards Agency, European Food Standards and Administration of Drugs and Food, have the responsibility to monitor the consistency of products and human health when some controversies are created regarding a product. Since 1988, that at 6 years after its invention by GD Searle Company, led by Monsanto, aspartame has managed to convince the European Scientific Committee on Food that it is a safe product. In 2002, due to the many public controversies, the Committee has conducted a study that has accumulated more than 500 reports. Research in biochemical and clinical behavior of subjects showed that a daily dose of 40 mg/2 pounds of aspartame is safe, as an exception only for those who suffer from Følling’s disease. An adult can take a daily dose of aspartame in approximately 10 cups of artificially sweetened drinks.

Does aspartame help in fighting pounds?

In most Western countries sugar provides some 10% of total calories. If it were replaced by non-caloric sweeteners such as aspartame, then obesity could be of the past. We assimilate about 5 grams of aspartame annually, equivalent to one kilogram of sugar, whose 4000 kcal may lead to a weight gain of one pound. But it is still not clear whether aspartame has been proven a role in fighting pounds.

Advantages of aspartame and artificial sweeteners
It tastes similar to sugar
It does not affect your teeth and does not cause cavities
It enhances the flavor of fruit, used in cakes and drinks
They are indicated for people with diabetes
It can be used in diets

Products that contain aspartame

Generally, most of the nearly 6 000 products containing aspartame are known to the public, especially as they mention on the packaging: “No sugar”. But there are some products we do not seem suspect, such as:

Drinking yoghurt
Chewing gum
Iced tea powder
Hard candy
Instant Cocoa
Pudding in envelope

Aspartame vs. sugar

A 1/2 cup of sugar-free ice cream contains 60 calories less than 1/2 cup of ice cream with sugar.
A slice of light cheese saves you 100 calories, compared with a slice of cream cheese.
8 ounces of light yogurt has 130 less calories than the same amount of normal yogurt with fruit.
A cup of aspartame is with 774 fewer calories than a cup of sugar the same size!
A regular glass of dietary juice contains up to 150 fewer calories than a regular juice.

With all these advantages, it is no wonder that more than 200 million people worldwide have chosen to consume aspartame instead of sugar!

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