Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - What is your opinon on artificial sweetners???




babygrant
01-04-2010, 02:00 PM
Prior to my new lifestyle ;) I used to drink 3 pepsi a day as well as 3 or 4 cups of tea (each cup had 2 tsp of sugar and 2 tsp cream). I have completely cut out the pepsi as well as any other soft drinks. I have also cut out the tea, but I will occasionally (as in once or twice a week) have a cup of tea with 1 tsp cream and 1 tsp sugar. I am also drinking 3 BIG sigg bottles full of water and I'm drinking 2 sigg bottles full of crystal light.

I'm consider my new lifestyle way of eating to be whole foods and I feel much better without the pop and heavy sugar consumption....but I'm still torn on the artificial sweetner. I really enjoy the crystal light. I think I would feel deprived if I didn't drink it because I have a sweet tooth. I think it keeps me from craving cookies, etc etc etc.

I've tried reading on the internet...but for every website that says it's bad there's a website that says there's no harm.


stargzr
01-04-2010, 02:10 PM
This is just my opinion.. but it seems like you say - for every good thing there is a bad thing. I just use regular sugar when I bake or in my tea, etc. I don't use much in tea and such... and I don't have it super often, so I'm ok. I think if it's consumed in excess, that's when it's bad - just as every other food it seems. ;)

Shannon in ATL
01-04-2010, 03:08 PM
Splenda makes me seriously ill. Stomach cramps & nausea so bad I can't keep any food down, rash, splitting headache (that is the first symptom to show up actually), bloating, slimy coating on my tongue. It is terrible for me. Does similar things to DH and several other people I know.

I just use the real stuff in lower doses. I have 1 tsp of sugar in my coffee, that is it. I occassionally have a full sugar soda - maybe once a month or so.


mandalinn82
01-04-2010, 03:37 PM
The answer really depends on you.

Obviously, no one is going to make the argument that artificial sweeteners are a health food - the question is really whether they are a lesser evil than sugar, or whether you'd be better off severely restricting sweets and using sugar when you need some instead of a sweetener.

Some people (like Shannon) have bad reactions to sweeteners. I can't have aspartame without experiencing many of the symptoms she just listed for Splenda/sucralose. It's all a matter of trial and error, and if a sweetener doesn't agree with you, best to just cut it out entirely.

If you have no issues with a sweetener, you need to balance your priorities. Is blood sugar control a priority for you? What about eating only whole foods? Limiting sweets altogether? Or is your highest priority just lowering calories? The answers to these questions will help you determine whether sweeteners fit into your plan. Personally, keeping calories low and blood sugar levels stable is more important to me than eating only whole foods (I have PCOS and really need to watch my sugar intake, so using limited amounts of "the real stuff" isn't a great option for that), so I do use some sweeteners, but in moderation, so I'm eating only a limited amount of sweets overall.

zarra
01-04-2010, 04:37 PM
If you don't mind ingesting chemicals...you should be fine ;) If you notice on foods that contain artificial sweeteners, on the back, next to the ingredients there is a WARNING letting you know that there are added chemicals to the food. I don't know about you, but any sort of food with a warning isn't something I want to ingest.

Seriously though, there are SO MANY other sweetener options that are healthy for you that aren't artificial. Take a look at agave syrup. It is low on the glycemic index and hardly raises your blood sugar. It is also 4x sweeter than cane sugar so you don't have to use as much. Also try Sucanat. It is un-processed/un-refined cane sugar so it is easier for your body to digest.

I hope that this helps you out. :) Feel free to message me if you have any questions about whole foods/natural alternatives.

mandalinn82
01-04-2010, 04:44 PM
Agave also has calories that must be taken into account, so again, it's an issue of priorities.

cathydoe
01-04-2010, 04:47 PM
great thread topic! I drink way too many diet sodas a day! And I believe all the chemicals are bad for me. With that said...I don't know...I still drink it. :(

zarra
01-04-2010, 04:50 PM
Agave also has calories that must be taken into account, so again, it's an issue of priorities.

Very very true, although they are calories that your body can burn instead of chemicals your body has no idea what to do with. Everything is relative.

babygrant
01-04-2010, 04:53 PM
If you don't mind ingesting chemicals...you should be fine ;) If you notice on foods that contain artificial sweeteners, on the back, next to the ingredients there is a WARNING letting you know that there are added chemicals to the food. I don't know about you, but any sort of food with a warning isn't something I want to ingest.

Seriously though, there are SO MANY other sweetener options that are healthy for you that aren't artificial. Take a look at agave syrup. It is low on the glycemic index and hardly raises your blood sugar. It is also 4x sweeter than cane sugar so you don't have to use as much. Also try Sucanat. It is un-processed/un-refined cane sugar so it is easier for your body to digest.

I hope that this helps you out. :) Feel free to message me if you have any questions about whole foods/natural alternatives.

Strangely enough, I practice natural medicine. ;) Organic foods, whole foods, olive oil and garlic for ear infections, chiropractic care for most health ailments, homeopathic remedies, essential oils.......and artificial sweetners. HA! I do use stevia and I would gladly consume sun tea or a stevia sweetened beverage like crystal light if I could find them somewhere. They have it on amazon.com but I'm in Canada and I can't get it on amazon.ca.

zarra
01-04-2010, 05:03 PM
Strangely enough, I practice natural medicine. ;) Organic foods, whole foods, olive oil and garlic for ear infections, chiropractic care for most health ailments, homeopathic remedies, essential oils.......and artificial sweetners. HA! I do use stevia and I would gladly consume sun tea or a stevia sweetened beverage like crystal light if I could find them somewhere. They have it on amazon.com but I'm in Canada and I can't get it on amazon.ca.

Perfect, then you don't need any of my help! :p I'm not a huge fan of stevia (I just don't like the taste....) and I'm not sure if they have it in Canada, but here in the states I have seen a soft drink made with stevia...I think it was Zeva or Zevia. I know it started with a Z It's not the same as a crystal light or tea but worth a try maybe...???? Just trying to help :)

CLCSC145
01-04-2010, 05:09 PM
I don't mind artificial sweeteners. I drink a load of diet Coke, I eat my Fiber One (Aspartame), I put Splenda in my tea. If I had physical reactions to it, I'd avoid it, but I feel fine.

Who knows, maybe I'll leave my body to science so they can study the long term effects of Aspartame on humans!

nelie
01-04-2010, 05:26 PM
I was just reading something about aspartame being processed with pig kidney's which I thought was interesting and horrifying as well. As a vegetarian, that bothers me but you'd think with as many people who have religious beliefs towards pork that they would mention that a bit more widely.

babygrant
01-04-2010, 05:55 PM
I was just reading something about aspartame being processed with pig kidney's which I thought was interesting and horrifying as well. As a vegetarian, that bothers me but you'd think with as many people who have religious beliefs towards pork that they would mention that a bit more widely.

Ever eat any foods containing cochineal or carmine? ;) It's even more disgusting than aspartame being processed with pigs kidneys.

zenor77
01-04-2010, 06:27 PM
Personally, I don't consume artificial sweeteners. They aren't food, they're chemicals.

Why not make your own sun tea or lemonade and sweeten it with stevia yourself? Or how about making sun tea with a blend that is naturally sweet. Good Earth Original tea is very sweet on it's own. It has cinnamon, cloves and other spices that make it taste sweet.

JulieJ08
01-04-2010, 06:37 PM
Yeah, pretty much any time you see "natural flavors" or "natural color" it will be something like that. If it sounded good they would say it as a selling point.

Passionista
01-04-2010, 06:48 PM
I will occasionally use erythritol or stevia but other than those natural, non-sugar sweeteners, I will NOT use any!

RE: cochineal and carmine, NO THANKS, I'm vegetarian and it's just gross besides! ;)

babygrant
01-04-2010, 07:30 PM
RE: cochineal and carmine, NO THANKS, I'm vegetarian and it's just gross besides! ;)

Nobody ever believes me when I tell them!!!!!

Passionista
01-04-2010, 07:32 PM
Well, that's not surprising since most people don't even know what gelatin really is! :o

CLCSC145
01-04-2010, 07:33 PM
Well, that's not surprising since most people don't even know what gelatin really is! :o

Boiled hooves and tendons. :barf:

mandalinn82
01-04-2010, 07:39 PM
Does it make me strange that, really, I know what all of those things are and it doesn't bother me?

Lord knows I eat plenty of bugs from my produce anyway (farmers market folks - no pesticides = big and small crawlies, some of which don't get removed by washing)...not to mention my spices, my whole grains...the number of bugs in the food supply no matter what you eat is fairly high, if your standard is "no bugs ever". The FDA has rules about how many bugs can be in standard food products...30 insect parts per 3.5 oz of peanut butter, 35 fruit fly eggs in a cup of raisins...they're called "natural contaminants".

Yummy!

nelie
01-04-2010, 07:50 PM
I also avoid gelatin, carmine and cochineal as well. carmine is in a lot of makeup, but there are companies that don't use it. I knew what all 3 were long before being vegetarian and I didn't avoid them. Like Amanda, there is a certain 'acceptance' level in processed products so chances are you are eating bugs anyway. Well I guess its another good reason to avoid processed products :)

I'm not perfect though and it is impossible if you live in the modern world to avoid all animal products but when I have a choice, I do choose animal product free.

ars
01-04-2010, 08:05 PM
I completely avoid artificial sweeteners...I have found over the last 5 years that they seem to trigger my cluster headaches (clusters are much worse than a migraine...imagine someone stabbing you in the temple every couple of minutes and then twisting the knife around for a bit...imagine this happening for days on end while still having to function normally in society...they aren't fun). I very carefully read labels now, and my headaches have been reduced to every 3 to 4 months (as opposed to every 1 to 2 months before I figured out the coffee creamer I was using and the Yoplait yogurt I ate daily contained artificial sweeteners.

Anyway, I think they are garbage and dangerous and definitely not an option for me. I have a hard time seeing other folks use them as well.

mandi<3
01-04-2010, 08:15 PM
I feel like if it helps you loose weight, and you feel okay about consuming it, then go ahead. But i don't see it as a long term thing. It shouldn't be something that we should continue to ingest because the jury is still out on the health effects.

But personally, being able to loose weight in the short term has a much greater positive effect on my life then i believe the negative effects of artificial sweeteners have had.

kaplods
01-04-2010, 08:25 PM
so chances are you are eating bugs anyway. Well I guess its another good reason to avoid processed products :)


Chances are you're eating bugs anyway, even if you're avoiding processed products.

Even (perhapes especially) in unprocessed products you're going to be eating insects, insect eggs, and insect parts incidentally in your fruits, vegetables and grains, PARTICULARLY if you're eating produce grown without pesticides.

If we followed the example of many other countries and ate insects, we wouldn't need to use harmful pesticides on our crops.

If organic farms became the mainstream (and farming with pesticides became obsolete), we would have to find a use for all of the insects that would result (without pestides, there'd be huge population explosions of crop-eating insects - and misquitos, flies and other insects as a result as well). Eating the insects would make the most sense.

Insects are a natural (and perhaps vital) part of the primate diet. We may be short-changing ourselves nutritionally with our taboo against eating insects. Rejecting insects is not human-nature, it's a social taboo (and one that isn't shared by most of the world).

Does it make me strange that, really, I know what all of those things are and it doesn't bother me?

No, it really doesn't. For an American, perhaps - but much of the rest of the world has no problem at all with insect-eating. In fact, they're often quite popular in some countries, and often a vital source protein (and an essential alternative to using pesticides. If people didn't eat the insects, the insects would eat the crops, and people would starve).

northerngirl73
01-04-2010, 08:42 PM
Artificial sweeteners seriously scare me. I try to stay away from them, but occasionally I crave pop. I will have one once in a while, but for something like tea, I prefer to have a bit of sugar. I am working on eliminating it all together.

marigrace
01-04-2010, 09:03 PM
To each his own, but....I think it tastes really nasty, and I don't give of my hard earned cash to be slowly poisoned by industrial food.

AzimuthRing
01-04-2010, 09:20 PM
I've just recently given up pop and coffee, not so much for the sweeteners, but because they would really tear up my stomache.

In regard to artificial sweeteners, I use it as a tool for my weightloss. I am not to the point where I can add regular sugar to my diet in the appropriate portion - someday I hope to be. But I"m not there yet. I don't see anything wrong in using it as a tool. In one of the previous posts someone mentioned that the benefits you gain from weight loss is worth is, even if you have to use artificial sweeteners. To me, it is worth it.

I do use stevia tea bags whenever I feel I need my herbal tea sweetened. But I am finding the less sugar I consume, the more sweeter natural foods become. I had no idea that cinnamon has a slightly sweet taste to it in tea until I stopped consuming sugar altogether.

I have a friend who refuses to drink any pop with artificial sweetners, and opts to drink the full sugar version instead. She is overweight, and is diabetic. So she would sit there looking at me like I was crazy when I drank my diet Pepsi, and I would sit there and look at her like she was crazy drinking her full sugared drink. To each his/her own choice.

Jilu
01-04-2010, 09:27 PM
You asked me six months ago, shoot, even six weeks ago, if I would ever give up my Diet Coke. I would have vehemently said no and thought you a crazy person.

But, over Christmas holidays, I had a little brain switch flip and realized how much I rationalized that something was okay because it had artificial sweeteners in it. Or that I could have something because I was having it with a Diet Coke.

Plus, it really kicked my craving for sweets down several levels.

meandmyself
01-04-2010, 10:10 PM
Splenda is the devil and Aspartame his evil twin....IMO. I dont know how real sugar got such a bad rap. A sprinkle in your coffee or tea or lightly across your grapefruit is better for you than ingesting a chemical that has to come with a warning and does nasty things to lab rats. Think about Splenda. Has the nation as a whole gotten thinner, lighter with the advent of this chemical? No...fatter...grossly fatter. See a connection? The devil I tell ya!

And they are sticking it in EVERYTHING! I avoid it because it ate my stomach while I was doing WW. The point value was always more important than the nutritional factor and I consumed tons of this stuff. When I had my last scope and GI...I came home and emptied my cupboards of the stuff and you cant imagine how many different food items that had Splenda in it! I did lose weight on WW but at what cost?! You have to practice good nutrition, always because just being thin doesn't = healthy.

I could rant about this for awhile. Thanks for asking!

babygrant
01-04-2010, 11:27 PM
The point value was always more important than the nutritional factor and I consumed tons of this stuff. You have to practice good nutrition, always because just being thin doesn't = healthy.

This really hit home. Thank you for this.

medinazarley
01-05-2010, 12:00 AM
IMO artificail sweeteners are okay, I only consume them in my crystal light packets. when i drink pop or sweets I prefer the real thing. I'd rather have to count the calories and have it be worth it than get the fake stuff and have a weird taste in my mouth.

also, I read that artifical sweeteners trigger the release of insulin, and that insulin floating around makes you crave more sweet foods. interesting, no?

babygrant
01-05-2010, 11:52 PM
OMG, no more artificial sweetners for me!!!

I had 3 little packets of crystal light today. As the nght wore on I started getting heart palpitations......chest pain......sweaty then cold.......and really confused and panicky. I've drank a whole bunch of water and taken a bath and I feel better. These are the exact same symptoms of aspartame side affects. If any of these symptoms come back or continue, I'm going to go to the doctor obviously.

alexandraT
01-06-2010, 07:11 AM
I'm going to jump in and agree with most people on this board: I'm also on the whole foods band wagon, and avoid artificial sweeteners. Maybe I'm crazy, but I swear my anxiety goes up when I consume them. I'm also leary of the long term affects, and it just makes sense that humans eat whole foods that our ancestors ate. That's what we're supposed to eat! AS to me belong in that "too good to be true" category. I have slowly weaned myself off putting sugar in my coffee (i use half and half and don't need sugar), don't put anything in my tea, and when I bake (rarely), I use good ole sugar. My friend made some chocolate chip cookies with Splenda the other day, and honestly, I thought they were awful! She's a great cook/baker, but the Splenda was just wrong, wrong, wrong. I wasted those calories on a cookie I didn't like, when I should have just used them on a treat I found really delicious and left satisfied. In general I'm against all the "fake food" movement: the fake butter, fake sweeteners, etc.

My one weakness? Diet Dr. Pepper. It's been tough but I've managed to basically cut it out of my diet completely (maybe once a month... in fact, I started drinking one yesterday, drank half and tossed it. Maybe it was mental but I swear I could sense its effects on me already). :^:

JessiHarri
01-11-2010, 01:05 PM
I used to be a Diet Coke addict! I still crave it though but really limit myself. I have been making iced green tea by the pitcher and sweeten with Stevia. It is sooo delish! Now I am a green tea addict and it has a billion health benefits.

I didn't know Fiber One had aspartame! Ugh and I have a big box of them in my cupboard!

oneday
01-11-2010, 01:30 PM
Hi there, I say everything in moderation! I buy cubed sugar - that way I know exactly how much I am putting into my tea and coffee, as I find just using a regular spoon I can lose count. I'm not organized enough to carry a tbsp around with me! I also use Crystal Light. Walmart sells a plastic water bottle that measures your 8 glasses per day. There's a sticker right on it that says "Get your 8 Glasses!" I toss in a packet of Crystal Light and store it in the fridge. I have no problem drinking it all over the course of the day. I just find plain old water doesn't interest me unless I'm incredibly thirsty. In a perfect world there would be no chemicals in our food - but alas there is is most products. So moderate and good luck!