Affordable Health Insurance logo Everything You Need to Know About Affordable Health Insurance and More

  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

African Americans With Diabetes - Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe?

African American Drinking Artificial Sweetener
African Americans are almost twice as likely to get diabetes than non-Hispanic whites, 2-5 times as likely to develop related kidney disease and almost 3 times more likely to have limb amputations resulting from diabetes. To avoid the complications from sugar, many use artificial sweeteners. But are they safe?

Artificial sweeteners have been around for over 100 years, and people generally substitute sugar for artificial sweeteners for two basic reasons. One is to prevent weight gain and the other is to avoid the adverse effects of sugar is you are diabetic. Artificial sweeteners are known by many names but fall into three primary categories--saccharin Sweet'N Low), aspartame(Equal), and sucralose (Splenda). But what most people don't realize is that artificial sweeteners are chemicals that were never originally intended to be digested.

For example, saccharin was discovered accidentally during the process of making gas from crude oil. Sucralose was discovered during research on new insecticides. Aspartame contains phenylalanine, aspartic acid, and methanol. Methanol is a dangerous neurotoxin and is known to be a carcinogen that causes retinal damage in the eye and birth defects. They are all chemicals and all dangerous to your health.

In addition, research has shown that artificial sweeteners can actually make you gain weight, not lose it. Animals tested on artificial sweeteners added body fat, and rats fed yogurt sweetened with saccharin had more weight gain than those given yogurt sweetened with sugar. So, if losing weight is one reason for drinking beverages or eating food with artificial sweeteners, you might be disappointed in the results.

While it's true that artificial sweeteners don’t raise blood sugar, there are other sugar substitutes that are safer than chemical sweeteners. Natural sweeteners that are considered safe by the FDA include fruit juices and nectars, honey, molasses, and maple syrup. Of course, just because it doesn't contain sugar doesn't mean it doesn't contain calories. But sacrificing a few calories in order to enjoy a safe and natural sweetener might be well worth the effort.
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.