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Super Healthy Food for Busy / Low-Energy People

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Sugar & Alcohol [Mar. 26th, 2007|05:38 pm]
Super Healthy Food for Busy / Low-Energy People


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I have two questions for you.

1) Which is the lesser evil.... sugar? or calorie free sugar substitutes?

And I am interested in all the pros & cons and effects on health of a diet that includes sugar VS a diet with nutrasweet or stevia or splenda or aspartame, etc. I have an insatiable sweet tooth, so I just can't go without. That being the case, I am trying to figure which will have the worst effect on my health in the long-run.

Artificial sweeteners: A safe alternative to sugar
More than ever, people are consuming large amounts of sugar as part of their daily diet. But in excess, sugar can take its toll. Eating large amounts of sugar adds extra calories, which can cause weight gain. Hence many people opt for artificial sweeteners — also referred to as sugar substitutes or low-calorie sweeteners — as a way to enjoy their favorite foods without as many calories.

What are artificial sweeteners?
Artificial sweeteners are chemicals that offer the sweetness of sugar without the calories. Because the substitutes are much sweeter than sugar, it takes a much smaller quantity of them to create the same sweetness. Therefore, products made with artificial sweeteners have a much lower calorie count than do those made with sugar. Artificial sweeteners are often used as part of a weight-loss plan or as a means to control weight gain.

People with diabetes may use artificial sweeteners because they make food taste sweet without raising blood sugar levels. But keep in mind that if you do have diabetes, some foods containing artificial sweeteners, such as sugar-free yogurt, can still affect your blood sugar level due to other carbohydrates or protein in the food. In addition, some foods labeled "sugar-free" — such as sugar-free cookies and chocolates — may contain sweeteners such as sorbitol or mannitol that contain calories and can affect your blood sugar level. Some sugar-free products may also contain flour, which will raise blood sugar levels.

Sweet choices
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved five low-calorie sweeteners for use in a variety of foods. The FDA has established "acceptable daily intake" (ADI) for each sweetener. This is the maximum amount considered safe to consume each day over a lifetime. ADIs are intended to be about 100 times less than the smallest amount that might cause health concerns.

Artificial sweetener ADI* ADI equivalent** OK for cooking?
Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal) 50 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) 15 cans of diet soda No
Saccharin (Sweet'N Low, SugarTwin) 5 mg per kg 8.5 packets of sweetener Yes
Acesulfame K (Sunett, Sweet One) 15 mg per kg 25 cans of diet soda Yes
Sucralose (Splenda) 5 mg per kg 5 cans of diet soda Yes
Neotame 18 mg a day No consumer products available yet in the U.S. Yes

*FDA-established acceptable daily intake (ADI) limit per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight. **Product consumption equivalent for a 150-pound person.

Safety of artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are often the subject of stories in the popular press and on the Internet, claiming that they cause a variety of health problems, including cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, however, there's no scientific evidence that any of the artificial sweeteners approved for use in the United States cause cancer. And numerous studies confirm that artificial sweeteners are safe for the general population.

Aspartame does carry a cautionary note, however. It isn't safe for people who have the rare hereditary disease phenylketonuria (PKU). Products that contain aspartame must carry a PKU warning on the label.

2) Are all forms of alcohol bad for you? Are any alcohols okay? And how much is "moderation"?

I have bee trying to research these topics without great success.

xposted to easysuperfoods and fibromyalgia

[User Picture]From: chorus_of_chaos
2007-03-27 07:15 am (UTC)
The best doctor I ever went to (an osteopath) told me to stay away from high fructose corn syrup, nutrasweet/aspartame, sucralose/splenda, and acesulfame K/Postassium K. They are toxic to people who have auto immune issues and are just flat bad for you. I've also heard the same thing from FOUR different rheumatologists. I was told that saccharin, in moderation, is okay though.

I dropped drinking soda pop and switched to gatorade (I have a problem with low potassium and sodium count and can't take potassium pills, I can't digest them well. Switching to gatorade leveled my blood sugar, I'm hypoglycemic, and I also lost considerable weight. So gatorade is a good "sweet" drink that has drastically fewer calories than soda, and does not have sweeteners that will either wreck your immune system or put on fat that you'll have damn hard time to get rid of. The process that makes "high fructose corn syrup" "High" also makes it so that your body does not utilize it unless you are starving and physically busting your ass constanstly. It simply stores it as fat and leaves it there. This also, heard from multiple doctors.)

If you want sweet, stevia is all natural, not chemically altered. There is a risk of allergic reaction to it, especially if you have allergies to things like daisies or chamomile. Honey is excellant, as it has natural antibiotic, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Sugar in very mild moderation is better for you than the artificial stuff by far.

As for alcohol, I've heard and read and been told by my doctors that a small glass of wine a day is fine, as is beer, but no more than that. Personally, I have found very little in terms of alcohol I like, and I've heard that cooking with wine, beer and whiskey often gives you the health benefits availble in those items without the alcohol content...so, beer or whiskey marinated roast or chicken marinated in wine not only tastes good, but has some benefits. I drink in great moderation (maybe a beer or wine two or three times a year, or something like a black russian) so I can't really speak to much on alcohol. I know my PMS symptoms are better if I drink red wine a couple days before the symptoms start. (shrugs) that's personal experience and was a recommendation from the ostepathic doctor. I was in his care for 20 years and did fabulously until I had to move :( I would give anything to be back in his care, I implicitly trust everything he said.
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[User Picture]From: angel_one
2007-03-27 07:31 am (UTC)
Potassium?? Don't we need potassium?
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[User Picture]From: chorus_of_chaos
2007-03-27 07:38 am (UTC)
acesulfame K/Potassium K is not just straight potassium. It is like aspartame and sucralose, they chemically alter the the mineral potassium so it will taste sweet, but, just as with nutrasweet ans sucralose, your body no longer can recognize it as a nutrient, and gets confused. It doesn't no whether to expel it, use it, or what...and it winds up being toxic.

Xylitol (I think it's xylitol) is a natural sweetener made from birch bark..it's also a safe substitute I forgot to mention, but it can cause diahrea in some people.

Yes we need potassium, but potassium our body can recognize and utilize...
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