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The History of Sweetners

(Update: I messaged Ben Greenfield for his thoughts on Red #40 and Sucralose (think Splenda). His response: If I see Red #40 or Sucralose in anything I don’t go near it. No exceptions.) 

Let me just go ahead and put my opinion out there – I am very anti fake sugar. I have formed this opinion because of my own experience with a myriad of sugar free products – ranging from chocolate, to jelly, to diet sodas. Did you know that even some Thomas English Muffins has fake sugar? Why would one even think bread has fake sugar? Crazy, I know. Well after being an obsessive gum chewer and buyer of all things sugar free, I realized what it did to my body and I strongly believe no type of fake sugar is good for us. Period. But that is my opinion…

Last night after coming across a few products containing fake sugar, I just started browsing through the many articles out there about the many different fake sugars.. There are so many out there that support it while others crucify it. But I think one of the most interesting articles I found was about the history of sweeteners, including the artificial ones. It’s a great article from Fooducate and definitely worth reading. If you don’t have time to read through the entire timeline, here are some points worth noting:

1977 – The FDA propose to ban saccharin, after the publication of a studies showing that rats fed large doses had high rates of cancer. Saccharin is the only artificial sweetener on the market at the time. A huge public outcry ensues, orchestrated by various lobbies, which helped Saccharin survive.  (Saccharin is Sweet N’ Low and still very much available.)

1981 – Despite testing that suggested aspartame caused brain tumors in rats, the FDA approves its use. (Aspartame is in many diet sodas, chewing gum, sugar free yogurt, and many other sugar free products.)

1991 – the FDA labels stevia as an “unsafe food additive” and restricts its import. Some believe this was done at the behest of the companies manufacturing artificial sweeteners based on aspartame. (Weird- did you know you can grow your own Stevia? Nothing artificial about it but labeled “unsafe.”Oh the power of money…)

2008 – The Corn Refiners Association, trying to quell consumer unease with high fructose corn syrup, initiates a full blown TV advertisement campaign(You MUST click on this link if you want to see just how good for you HFCS really is.)

(Read the entire timeline of sugar here.)

When I cut fake sugar out of my life, my overall health improved. Even now just chewing a piece of gum makes me feel gross and my stomach hurt. I stay as far away as possible. Personally, I feel there is something very toxic about fake sugar and it amazes me that power and money keep these toxic chemicals on our shelves and in our bodies. And we wonder why we have all the health problems we do? But again, as I said earlier, this is my opinion…

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


4 Comments Post a comment
  1. uberbeastmode #

    “I realized what it did to my body and I strongly believe no type of fake sugar is good for us. Period. But that is my opinion…”

    Nope, it’s not your opinion, it’s fact! 🙂 Fake sugar is so bad for you!

    September 21, 2012
    • Yea you’re right 🙂 just trying to be polite.

      September 21, 2012
  2. Most of that fake stuff is no better for you. all this crap made up in a lab, better living through chemistry I always say!
    We gave up margarine years ago and only eat real butter now, but in moderation. That margarine will kill you.

    September 24, 2012
  3. Oh yes, none of it is any good, not even agave syrup… I stick to raw honey and turbinado sugar…

    September 24, 2012

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