Low Calorie or Zero Calorie Beverages… Are They Really Healthier Options?
I have written many articles about just how fattening and unhealthy the sugary beverages that so many of us consume with our meals are. In an attempt to save calories, avoid the sugar and “do the right thing health wise” millions of people are switching to the low calorie or zero calorie drinks that line the shelves of our supermarkets.
In order for sweet tasting drinks to have low or zero calories, many of them have substituted the sugar for artificial sweeteners like aspartame or Splenda (sucralose).
Aspartame is probably toxic to brain cells and as you will read below, Splenda is probably no better and not a healthy choice either.
The article below written by Sayer Ji of Greenmed Info reviews some of the potential problems with Splenda. At the end he goes on to recommend choosing drinks that are sweetened with low or zero calorie natural sweeteners.
Of the natural sweeteners, though all of them are better and healthier choices than the synthetic, artificial sweeteners, my favorite is erythritol.
Read the printed ingredient labels on the bottles of the beverages you are thinking about purchasing and look for those that use only these natural sweeteners.
Curt Hendrix B.S. M.S. C.C.N. C.N.S.
Please read this informative article: The Bitter Truth About Splenda by Sayer Ji.
If you were told to ingest a biologically alien synthetic chemical whose presence on this planet did not predate 1976, and whose structure is only a few atoms away from the deadly pesticide DDT, and you knew that not only were there no long term human safety studies performed on it, but that it had been already proven in tests to have following adverse health effects:
· Shrunken thymus glands (up to 40% shrinkage)
· Enlarged liver and kidneys.
· Abnormal histopathological changes in spleen and thymus
· Increased cecal weight
· Reduced growth rate
· DNA Damage
· Adverse changes to gastrointestinal bacteria
· Abnormal Pelvic Mineralization
· Decreased red blood cell count
· Hyperplasia of the pelvis
· Aborted pregnancy (Maternal & Fetal Toxicity)
· Decreased fetal body weights and placental weights
· Bowel inflammation/Crohn’s Disease
· Triggering migraine
· Increase glycosylation of hemoglobin (HbA1c) for diabetics
…would you still consume it? Of course not! And yet, millions of Americans (including our precious children!) are doing exactly that by consuming Splenda. So, what is sucralose, chemically speaking?
Like “Splenda,” the term “sucralose” is a cute little marketing ploy. The true name of this ugly little chemical is actually too long for the human tongue to comfortably pronounce (which is usually an excellent indication that it is not safe to ingest!) Go ahead and see if you can wrap your vocal chords around this phonetic monstrosity:
Despite the intended insinuation, sucralose is not a form of sucrose (cane sugar). Sucralose/Splenda is produced through artificially substituting three hydroxyl groups (hydrogen + oxygen) with three chlorine atoms in the sugar (sucrose) molecule. Natural sugar is a hydrocarbon built around 12 carbon atoms. When transformed into Splenda it becomes a chlorocarbon, in the same family as deadly pesticides like DDT, insecticides, biocides, disinfectants like Chlorox Bleach, and WWI poison gas like dichlorourea.
The makers of sucralose/Splenda argue that this “remarkably stable” chemical passes unchanged into the urine and feces, when in fact, up to 11% to 27% is absorbed into the body (FDA, 1999). In fact, the varying degrees to which sucralose is absorbed is used as a marker for gut and intestinal permeability to determine certain disease states. Once absorbed, some portion of this chlorocarbon accumulates in the body (between 1.6% to 12.2%). What effects will these accumulated chemicals have? According to James Bowen, M.D:
“Any chlorocarbons not directly excreted from the body intact can cause immense damage to the processes of human metabolism and, eventually, our internal organs. The liver is a detoxification organ which deals with ingested poisons. Chlorocarbons damage the hepatocytes, the liver’s metabolic cells, and destroy them. In test animals Splenda produced swollen livers, as do all chlorocarbon poisons, and also calcified the kidneys of test animals in toxicity studies.”
How can this be true for an FDA approved sweetener?
FDA approval does not in any way guarantee safety… sadly enough, in many cases, it guarantees the exact opposite. Take aspartame for instance. Aspartame (Equal/NutraSweet) contains 10% methanol, which is broken down in our body into two extremely toxic substances: formaldehyde and formic acid. There are over 30 known adverse health effects associated with its consumption! This sweetener gained FDA approval in 1981, despite appalling evidence linking it to cancer, particularly, brain cancer.
So, if Splenda is not a viable alternative to sugar, what can we use instead?
When one uncouples the experience of “sweetness” from caloric content, the body becomes confused because it does not receive nourishment and therefore will not attain satiety – this, in turn, leads to overindulgence. Indeed, new studies have shown exactly this: those who consume synthetic sweeteners are more prone to obesity. What this means is that when we ingest something sweet, it should also have caloric and nutritional content. Anything less than this equation is a recipe for failure and ill health.
Thankfully Nature provides us with a veritable cornucopia of healthy sweeteners: honey, stevia, xylitol, erythritol, and dehydrated organic cane juice, all of which are available at your local health food store. Next time that sweet tooth calls, remember not to succumb to advertising hype which would convert poisonous chemicals into “magical” no-calorie sweeteners. Use both common sense and a sense of moderation, and your body will thank you.
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