The White Powder 3
The White Powder 3: The Rise Of The Machines.
We have taken the time meet our sweet mistress, that sweet, sweet lady we call sugar and we have spent some time looking at sugars that occur in nature and what some healthier options are. But now we must spend some time looking into the new wave of sugars that science has brought to us. If you are a diet soda fan, I suggest you take your last gulp before reading on, once you have this information you may never want another!
The Harmful Kind of Sugars: Artificial Sweeteners
Here are the artificial sweeteners which cause the most amount of damage:
- Aspartame: Easily amongst the worst options when it comes to substituting sugar, it is also amongst the ones which are used most commonly because of the cost factor. Aspartame is made up of aspartic acid, methanol, phenylalanine, and amino acids, and is a known neurotoxin and carcinogenic substance. The methanol in aspartame is converted into formaldehyde, and this neurotoxin/carcinogenic substance bonds with DNA and accumulates within cells. Consequently, while your everyday intake of diet sodas will not result in cancer overnight, it could, in the long run, not only result in the condition but also its rapid growth. This is because aspartame can not only cause cancer but can also result in the rapid movement and growth of cancer cells.
In addition, Aspartame also works as an excitotoxin in relation to nerve cells, which simply means that it can cause nerve cells to function in an overexcited state that causes them to die. Also, since the signs of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson Disease and Multiple Sclerosis are quite similar to that of Aspartame toxicity, this condition is not really easy to diagnose.
- Sucralose: Sucralose was discovered in the process of scientists trying to create a new pesticide, and people with regular intake of sucralose based sweeteners often complain of problems like anxiety, allergies, nausea, moodiness, absentmindedness, itching, rashes, diarrhoea, and in some cases, even seizures. Research has gone on to show that sucralose can have a negative impact on the ‘good’ bacteria within the digestive tract, and can change the metabolic reactions of certain medicines.
- Acesulfame K: On food labels, this ingredient could be listed as Sunnett, Ace-K, Acesulfame K potassium, or just Acesulfame K. Commonly used to enhance flavour, this sweetener is around two hundred times sweeter than sucrose; and although it has been approved by the US FDA, long term studies surrounding its use have not yet been carried out. It contains methylene chloride, a known carcinogen, and can result in nausea, depression, headaches, kidney and liver problems to name a few.
- Saccharine: Amongst the oldest artificial sweeteners, it is bitter to taste, and is generally mixed with other sweeteners because of the same reason. The use of saccharin is banned in several nations owing to its increasing the risk of contracting bladder cancer, and other associated side effects including breathing problems, headaches, allergies, diarrhoea, muscle dysfunction, irritability and skin eruptions.
What you should know about such artificial sweeteners, is that while they come with a low glycemic index, and no sugar or calories, they can still work inducing insulin release. This, in the long run, will have an adverse effect on your pancreas and your body’s metabolism, as well as your weight. These chemicals, in my opinion, aren’t meant to be used by human beings at all.
Sugar alcohols refer to a new breed of sweeteners referred to as polyols. Common examples include isomalt, xylitol, sorbitol, and maltitol. Some of these sweeteners are plant based and some are derived from starches and sugars. For instance, maltitol is derived from seaweed; and sorbitol, from corn syrup. Since the body cannot absorb these completely, they don’t have too much of an impact on your blood sugar levels, and they have a low glycemic index and low caloric content.
Their use can commonly be seen in sugar-free chewing gums, and this is because they do not promote the decaying of teeth. Xylitol actually works in inhibiting the growth of bacteria in the oral cavity. The one drawback is that since these aren’t completely absorbed by the body, they can end up fermenting within the intestines, leading to diarrhoea, bloating, or gas.
The next time you want a sweet something don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are creating a better choice for yourself by having an artificial sweetener, or that because there are no calories that you won’t affect your health, because it is a fools’ errand. THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS!