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Posted on 11-24-2015
The Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Cancer is Something That You Should Definitely Think About.”
Author: Amanda Fuller
What are artificial sweeteners and why are they so popular? Artificial sweeteners are synthetic sugar substitutes that are used to sweeten foods and beverages instead of sucrose (table sugar). Often times they can be derived from naturally occurring substances, including herbs and sugar itself. Sometimes they may even be referred to as ‘intense’ sweeteners, as they are far sweeter than regular sugar. The advantages of using these sweeteners are that they are virtually calorie and carbohydrate free, which in turn makes them Diabetes friendly. However, they also lack nutritional value. Here are some examples:
- Acesulfame (Sunett, SweetOne)
- Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet)
- Saccharin (Sugar Twin, Sweet’N Low)
- Sucralose (Splenda)
Even though you may not sprinkle a little ‘Splenda’ into your coffee in the morning, you may be surprised to know how many other products out there actually contain these chemicals. Do you buy groceries labeled sugar-free, low-calorie, light or reduced-sugar? Well you may want to think again. Artificial sweeteners may in fact be in these products, even though it may not be advertised. Talk about a sweet surprise! They may be hiding where you least expect it, like in breakfast cereal, yogurt, light or diet beverages, and snack bars. Did you know that eating such sweet foods can sometimes even trick your body into craving more sweets?! When looking at these types of items, be sure to check the ingredient lists.
So why should we be avoiding these chemicals? The main reason is the potential harm they can have on your body. Some doctors are even linking them to cancer. Although there is no clear evidence in the US that associates cancer risk with humans, there have been studies in the past that have been very concerning. In the 1970’s, there was a study conducted on Saccharin in which the lab rats developed bladder cancer. However, according to the National Cancer Institute, artificial sweeteners are regulated by the FDA. Although there is no sound evidence to suggest that any of these artificial sweeteners may cause cancer in humans, you should know that there are some natural alternatives out there. Here are some to consider using:
- Agave nectar
- Date sugar
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Maple Syrup
If you get a chance to try any of these out, we’d love to hear some of your experiences! Also, while you’re out grocery shopping, keep in mind that just because a certain food may be marketed as sugar-free does not mean it is calorie-free and probably does not offer much in terms of nutritional value. Remember that processed foods do not offer the same health benefits as do whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Basically, the key to living a healthy lifestyle is moderation. Keeping a good balance is always important, and chances are, you’re already sweet enough! J
Please add a comment to Share your story and experience with Artificial Sweeteners, or removing them from your diet.
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