Better Read Sweetener Labels

Do you “read” the


labels of things you buy? This past week I’ve been “on the go” and had water with me, but I was in a mood to have something else besides water.

sweetener labelsYou know, sometimes you want a soda or juice drink instead of water, but the


is what makes drinks and food not all equal…

Well, I picked up a drink that was a “sparkling citrus drink” I thought would be good. It did taste pretty good, but, I could taste the “artificial”


in the drink.

This reminded me of how important it is to read labels. If you don’t, you’re putting a lot of garbage in your body that will react in adverse ways…

Here’s a chart that shows you the “artificial” and the natural sugars in our food choices today:


Artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes are misunderstood by most of us and there are so many that it’s hard to tell the difference, right?

It’s not just about cutting calories or eating healthier, sugar substitutes can affect your health very much. When you know the differences, you can make an informed choice.

Artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes are found in almost every food and beverage marketed as “sugar-free” or “diet,” including soft drinks, candy, fruit juice, ice cream, yogurt, chewing gum, jellies and baked goods.

The definition of “sugar substitutes” are any sweetener that you use instead of regular table

sugar (sucrose). That’s pretty vague. Artificial sweeteners are just one type of sugar substitute.

The chart above lists some popular sugar substitutes and how they’re commonly categorized.

Some manufacturers call their sweeteners “natural” even though they’re processed or refined. And some artificial sweeteners are derived from naturally occurring substances, but have been altered.

Sucralose comes from sugar, but has been chemically altered.

It’s manufactured by “the selective chlorination of sucrose” (table sugar), which substitutes three of the hydroxyl groups with chlorine.

This chlorination is achieved by selective protection of the primary alcohol groups followed by acetylation and then deprotection of the primary alcohol groups.

Following an induced acetyl migration on one of the hydroxyl groups, the partially acetylated sugar is then chlorinated with a chlorinating agent such as phosphorus oxychloride, followed by removal of the acetyl groups to give sucralose. (According to Wikipedia)

Artificial sweeteners are synthetic sugar substitutes, but may be derived from naturally occurring substances, including herbs or sugar itself.

An artificial sweetener is also known as “intense sweetener” because they’re many times sweeter than regular sugar.

Artificial sweeteners are an attractive alternative to sugar for many people because they don’t add calories to your diet. But that’s NOT the only reason to avoid an artificial sweetener.

Artificial sweeteners are commonly used in processed foods, including baked goods, soft drinks, powdered drink mixes, candy, puddings, canned foods, jams and jellies, dairy products, and scores of other foods and beverages.

If you’re like me and rarely or never consume an artificial sweetener, you can definitely taste the “artificial taste” in a drink.

Most artificial sweeteners leave an aftertaste.

artificial sweetenersArtificial sweeteners have been the subject of strong disagreement for decades. But don’t think for a minute that I’m “endorsing” the exclsive use of sugar.

Critics, and I am one of them, say that they cause or contribute to a variety of health problems, including cancer.

So, what can I eat for a sweetener that is NOT bad for me and may actually be healthy for me? Here is a good list of sweeteners you can use.

Studies dating to the 1970s linked saccharin to bladder cancer in laboratory rats. Saccharin once carried a warning label that it may be hazardous to your health. Why doesn’t it still carry that warning? Money…

According to the National Cancer Institute and other health agencies, there’s no sound scientific evidence that any of the artificial sweeteners cause cancer or other serious health problems.

Probably, because they will never spend the money necessary to do the research that would prove otherwise.

Other studies claim that artificial sweeteners are generally safe in limited quantities, even for pregnant women. As a result of these studies, “the warning label for saccharin was dropped.”

Artificial sweeteners are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “food additives.” But, as you probably already know, just because the FDA gives a product or compound it’s rubber stamp, is it safe all the time.

In some cases, the FDA declares a substance “generally recognized as safe” or (GRAS). In other words, they can’t find enough people or experts to claim otherwise.

Your sweetener and food choices should be dictated by your health standards and educated knowledge, not the FDA.

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