Artificial Sweeteners; the Low-down on Low-calorie, Low-sugar Foods
By Vikki Scovell
Sweeteners are used to replace sugar for 2 reasons; they have less or no calorific value, and they are cheaper to produce. Artificial sweeteners are a billion dollar industry involving some of the biggest names in the game. You will find them hiding in thousands of products including; diabetic products, crisps, cakes, biscuits, savoury snacks, fizzy drinks, squash, yoghurts, chewing gum, ready-meals, diet products, products aimed at children (low-sugar or tooth-kind), low-carb foods, puddings, cereals, shakes, hot chocolate, salad dressings, laxatives, gelatin deserts, breath mints, vitamin tablets, and children?™s and adults medicine. You can also buy artificial sweeteners in boxes and jars to use as a sugar substitute for table use and baking. You will find them in many products labeled ?˜low-sugar??or ?˜no added sugar.??/P>
The following are all artificial sweeteners; (sometimes foods are labelled ?˜contains [a source of] Phenylalanine??and some have brand names such as NutraSweet, Canderel, Equal, Splenda, and Benevia, as well as others).
??Acesulfame K; there has been doubt in the past about the safety of this additive, asit has been linked in animal tests to tumors, leukemia, and respiratory problems. It is currently accepted as safe. Due to its bitter after taste, is often used alongside Aspartame, which can be combined in such small amounts that it need not be identified on packaging.
??Saccharin E954; once carried the warning in the US "Use of this product may be hazardous to your health. This product contains saccharin which has been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals". It was since shown that the animal experiments did not prove the same effect on the human body and the warning was removed. Saccharin is still linked to various problems in sensitive people such as eczema, asthma, rashes and loss of feeling in the extremities. The US government National Toxicology Program lists saccharine as an ?˜anticipated carcinogen??(cancer-causing chemical). The American Medical Association has recommended limiting the intake of saccharin in young children and pregnant women. I noticed that this was an ingredient in my children?™s toothpaste.