Carb Counters - Some Info on Sweeteners

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06-27-2006, 09:55 PM
I'm not an expert. But I figured in my search for the truth perhaps I could help others. Let me know what you think of what I found and if you think there is some truth in it.

I am curious to know what it is about Aspartame that has everyone spooked. What is wrong with it?


According to the American Diabetes Association website:

Low Calorie Sweeteners

Don't throw away your low-calorie sweeteners just because sugar is safer than you thought. Low-calorie sweeteners are "free foods." They make food taste sweet, and have no calories and do not raise blood glucose levels. They do not count as a carbohydrate, a fat, or any other exchange. They can be added to your meal plan instead of substituted.

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of these low-calorie sweeteners. The American Diabetes Association accepts the FDA's conclusion that these sweeteners are safe and can be part of a healthy diet.

Saccharin (Sweet N Low, Sugar Twin)
Saccharin can be used in both hot and cold foods to make them sweeter. You may recall that some studies giving very large quantities of saccharine to rats raised concerns that saccharin could cause cancer, but many studies and years of use have shown saccharin to be safe in the quantities used by consumers.

Aspartame(NutraSweet, Equal)
Aspartame is another low-calorie sweetener. Because high temperatures can decrease its sweetness, check the manufacturer's Web site or call their toll-free number for guidelines when using aspartame in recipes.

Acesulfame potassium (Sweet One, Swiss Sweet, Sunett)
Another low-calorie sweetener on the market is acesulfame potassium, also called acesulfame-K. This sweetener is heat stable and can be used in baking and cooking.

Sucralose (SPLENDA)
Sucralose is the newest low-calorie sweetener on the market. Sucralose is not affected by heat and retains its sweetness in hot beverages, baked goods, and processed foods.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website:

FDA also has approved two other artificial sweeteners, acesulfame potassium and sucralose, both of which are available in products such as fruit drinks and gelatin desserts.

Acesulfame Potassium: First approved in 1988 as a tabletop sweetener, acesulfame potassium, also called Sunett, is now approved for products such as baked goods, frozen desserts, candies, and, most recently, beverages. More than 90 studies verify the sweetener's safety.

About 200 times sweeter than sugar and calorie free, acesulfame potassium often is combined with other sweeteners. One major beverage maker mixes acesulfame potassium with aspartame to sweeten one of its diet sodas. Worldwide, the sweetener is used in more than 4,000 products, according to its manufacturer, Nutrinova. Acesulfame potassium has excellent shelf life and does not break down when cooked or baked.

Sucralose: Also known by its trade name, Splenda, sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sugar. After reviewing more than 110 animal and human safety studies conducted over 20 years, FDA approved it in 1998 as a tabletop sweetener and for use in products such as baked goods, nonalcoholic beverages, chewing gum, frozen dairy desserts, fruit juices, and gelatins. Earlier this year, FDA amended its regulation to allow sucralose as a general-purpose sweetener for all foods.

Sucralose tastes like sugar because it is made from table sugar. But it cannot be digested, so it adds no calories to food. Because sucralose is so much sweeter than sugar, it is bulked up with maltodextrin, a starchy powder, so it will measure more like sugar. It has good shelf life and doesn't degrade when exposed to heat. Numerous studies have shown that sucralose does not affect blood glucose levels, making it an option for diabetics.

06-27-2006, 10:35 PM
The only thing i've heard is that people don't want to put chemicals such as aspartame in their bodies, because either they just want everything going to to be all natural, or they dont know what the chemicals may do in the future. Some think that it actually makes you crave sugar more,because its not real sugar. It does the opposite to me, it satisfies me. Personally, i really dont worry about it at all. If it makes me enjoy my food more without adding extra calories/fat/etc., im gonna use it. It keeps me from feeling deprived.

06-28-2006, 12:16 AM
Thanks for the info. I use splenda in my coffee everyday.

06-28-2006, 12:25 AM
Some people can't metabolize aspartame. My friend Julie is one of them, getting really confused and weird feeling if she has even a little. One day she started feeling that telltale weird way. She thought she'd cleaned their pantry out of all things containing it, but it turned out some individual pudding packs from a friend were sugar-free and she hadn't noticed. She'd eaten on a few hours before she started feeling the familiar symptoms.

I don't like the aftertaste of some sucralose and aspartame-sweetened drinks and foods, but some I put up with for the sake of calories.

06-29-2006, 10:08 AM
Yup. Some people can have aspartame and lose weight....others can't. I think that's the reason they stay away. Well, and the Atkins book suggests you do stay away from it. I say if it doesn't bother how you lose weight....then go for it :)