Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sweeteners, real, fake, deadly, carcinogenic, and scary.

When I review the stats for my site here, it seems that some of the largest numbers of views go to the entries about artificial sweeteners.  So I thought I would make one entry about the stuff and have a lot of info in one place, and with links to individual sites as well as more ramblings by me. 

Here is my list of most toxic to most usable.

1.  Aspartame - The absolute worst most toxic sweetener on the market (Aspartame)  There are 92 side effects listed by the FDA including death.  Yet is is still available for the manufacturers to make buttloads of money on.  92, with death in there as well.  (Side Effects)  In 1981 Arthur Hull Hayes Jr. the commisioner for the FDA approved Aspartame for use in human foods.  He then left the agency to work at Searle, the manufacturer of Aspartame, at a whopping one thousand dollars a day on a ten year contract.  His approval of the crap was done despite the fact that there was overwhelming evidence the stuff was carcinogenic and neurotoxic as well and that 70% of FDA staff researchers went on record as stating objections to any such approval.  Let's not make any bones about it, approval was all about MONEY!

2. Sucralose -  Splenda is next on list to avoid.  See (Splenda)  and this one as well (More Splenda)  This stuff is just weird, someone somewhere thought that if you take regular glucose and add three chlorine atoms so that the resulting molecule is just a tiny bit different from DDT; then that would be good for humans.  Chloro-carbons are very dangerous and although the the Tate and Lyle research that was submitted to the FDA showed that in over 100 animal tests to be non-toxic, the reality is that only two studies done on humans showed that the research fudged the truth a bit.  Human systems in fact retained as much as 15% of the chemical after even after 4 days.  Not what they claim at all, their research submitted to the FDA states that 100% is excreted in less than 24 hours, a little different from the entire report.  But then when has the making of money ever elicited honesty in any agribusiness.  Chloro-carbons are known carcinogens, a couple of atoms rearranged on the molecule doesn't make it safe.  Third party research is needed to verify, but that is pretty expensive, and manufacturers will never pay to prove their crap is toxic.

3. Acesulfame Potassium - or Ace-K, sold as Suneet and Sweet One.  The company website (Ace-K) states that over 90 studies have been done proving that this stuff is harmless.  Much the same as Number one and Numer two above make the same claims.  However in several independent studies there were far different findings, from large increases in cancers in male rats to moderate destruction of neurometabolic functions.  It has been discovered that the stuff also stimulates the excretion of insulin.  A whole host of possibilities open up there, and yet the manufacturer Hoechst, in all of its testing, did not in any way find anything wrong.  Here is info from the NCBI on their review (Ace K and NCBI) The stuff contains methylene chloride, a known carcinogen.  Again, more testing NEEDS to be done, but money is tight for protection of humanity, and pretty loose when it comes to buying the approval from regulators to use toxins to make more money. 

4. High Fructose Corn Syrup - HFCS, a favorite subject for me to write about here (HFCS) (HMS)  It isn't just the coverup by the FDA and mainstream media about the huge mercury contamination problem discovered in 2005, or the use of GM corn to make the stuff without ever performing long term studies to see if GM foods are safe (They aren't) or the incredibly stupid advertising campaign telling us that HFCS is exactly the same as sugar, or any of the other hundreds of things about the stuff that make it number four on my list of crap to avoid.  It is simply that it increases the likelihood of unscrupulous people (raise your hand Lorena, my ex)((Big believer in lying and cheating her customers to make money)) to adulterate honey sales.  Corn Syrup, a touch of real honey and yellow coloring makes for an impressive imitation honey.  And I think most people would be surprised to learn that virtually all of the honey in supermarkets is HFCS and not honey at all.  (Not Honey at all)  Of course that isn't the only reason, I mean really, the stuff is pretty nasty.

5. Agave  -    Touted as the miracle sweetener, made from desert cacti and sweeter than sugar without the bad glycemic problems sugar causes.  What a load of poop.  Agave is nothing more than a different source for which manufacturers are able to make HFCS.   Hmm.  We should call it HFAS. (Agave)  It ain't pretty folks.  The drive to acquire larger supplies of Agave has driven Mexican farmers to scavange ANY agave species to feed the mills that ferment the raw plant into fructose.  Many of which are not exactly non-toxic. Check the link, lots of info on the saponins, the poor quality control and why there are different grades.

6.  Truvia/ Nectresse -  Stevia and Monk Fruit are the parent plants that these toxins are derived from.  But they are NOT all natural as the manufacturers claim. (Truvia)  Not as toxic as some, but still there.  Most of the chemical sweeteners on the market are cut with erythritol, which is a GM corn product that is processed and fermented using a whole host of toxic chemicals to make it palatable.  As are the stevia and monk fruits, which actually make up a tiny percentage of the final product.  Hunh, back to that unscrupulous practice thing again, and as long as the Gods at FDA allow them to label chemicals as "All Natural" then manufacturers will do so.

7.  White Sugar -  Enhhhh, been around for centuries, modern stuff contains bleaching agents, and is usually just plain sucrose.  Not great for you, but better than all of the above.

8. Colored sugars - Brown, raw, turbinado sugars are pretty much just white sugar with molasses added back to them.  Stronger flavor, but still mostly just white sugar.

9.  Organic Evaporated Cane Juice. - They take sugar cane juice and run through an evaporator.  Pretty simple and better for you than anything above.  This is what I use.  I put some in a blender and grind on high to make confectioners sugar.  It is nice, not as sweet with a nuttier, lightly molasses like flavor. 

10.  Honey/Maple syrup - Yes I know, they are both pretty much fructose, but there is a chemical difference and these are digested and absorbed in a very different manner.  And they have no nasty chemicals added from manufacturing processes.  Much better choices.  

11. Stevia -  My favorite for tea.  I use plain stevia leaves, steep in hot water along with mint leaves, or green tea, or any herbs, and it is just fine.  Some people say that there is a slight licorice like aftertaste, but I have been drinking the stuff for thirty years and I don't notice it anymore.  There are a huge number of stevia extract products on the market, read the ingredients, if they contain erythritol or any other artificial ingredient, avoid it.  Make your own, buy the leaves, steep in water or alcohol.

So that's it for now, some bad stuff, some not so bad stuff, and some that might taste a little like licorice.  I admit I bake stuff like cinnamon rolls on occasion, and use cane juice, sometimes brown sugar.  But I never drink diet soda, and I never ingest anything with items 1 through 7 in the list above.  

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