Fake Sugars that Kill: A New Warning about Artificial Sweeteners

Diabetes and artificial sweeteners
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They seem relatively benign in their little yellow, pink and blue packets. But did you know that those artificial sweeteners could be killing you as you sip your morning coffee? In a recent episode of The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Oz warns consumers that hidden fake sugars from the food industry may be sweetening your path to ill health.

“Artificial sweeteners―now, they promise the benefits of sugar without the guilt. In fact, the amount of packets each year that you use is about 500! It’s a lot. But like many inventions of the food industry, artificial sweeteners are not living up to their hype. Researchers are now finding new health dangers and today I am sounding the alarm,” says Dr. Oz as he warns viewers that artificial sweeteners used today that are linked to heart disease and diabetes are being renamed by the food industry to fool consumers.

Artificial Sweetener Danger #1: New names for old poisons

Dr. Oz reminds viewers that the three most common artificial sweeteners found in blue, pink, and yellow packets are commonly known under the names of aspartame, saccharin and sucralose, which are respectively 200, 300 and 600 times more sweeter than natural sugar. However, what is new is that the food industry has been renaming those same fake sugars to confuse consumers who want to avoid those artificial sweeteners that scientists are increasingly finding linked to many illnesses.

This renaming of artificial sweeteners is in response to drops in sales due to consumers recently learning that artificial sweeteners cause more harm than eating natural sugar.

“They [the food industry] have become so savvy that they are now using aliases to obscure themselves, to hide themselves in packaged foods,” reports Dr. Oz.

With Dr. Oz is special guest artificial sweetener expert Dr. Elizabeth Boham, M.D., R.D., who tells viewers that because the food industry is dependent upon sales of sweet-tasting foods that consumers prefer because of their dependence on sweets, that the food industry has to find new ways to hide what they are really selling in their products.

“They are coming up with new names in different artificial sweeteners to get them into these products,” says Dr. Boham.

“If you see anything ending in a ‘–tol’ or an ‘–ose,’ then that may be an artificial sweetener…my clue is that if you can’t understand or you can’t read an ingredient on a label and you don’t know what it is, then don’t eat it,” says Dr. Boham.

Dr. Oz provides the following list of names your artificial sweetener may be hiding behind:

ACESULFAME POTASSIUM
ACK
Ace K
Equal Spoonful (also +aspartame)
Sweet One
Sunett

ASPARTAME
APM
AminoSweet (but not in US)
Aspartyl-phenylalanine-1-methyl ester
Canderel (not in US)
Equal Classic
NatraTaste Blue
NutraSweet

ASPARTAME-ACESULFAME SALT
TwinSweet (Europe only)

CYCLAMATE
Not in US as per FDA
Calcium cyclamate
Cologran = cyclamate and saccharin; not in US
Sucaryl

ERYTHRITOL
Sugar alcohol
Zerose
ZSweet

GLYCEROL
Glycerin
Glycerine

GLYCYRRHIZIN
Licorice

HYDROGENATED STARCH HYDROLYSATE (HSH)
Sugar alcohol

ISOMALT
Sugar alcohol
ClearCut Isomalt
Decomalt
DiabetiSweet (also contains Acesulfame-K)
Hydrogenated Isomaltulose
Isomaltitol

LACTITOL
Sugar alcohol

MALTITOL
Sugar alcohol
Maltitol Syrup
Maltitol Powder
Hydrogenated High Maltose Content Glucose Syrup
Hydrogenated Maltose
Lesys
MaltiSweet (hard to find online to buy)
SweetPearl

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MANNITOL
Sugar alcohol

NEOTAME

POLYDEXTROSE
Sugar alcohol
(Derived from glucose and sorbitol)

SACCHARIN
Acid saccharin
Equal Saccharin
Necta Sweet
Sodium Saccharin
Sweet N Low
Sweet Twin

SORBITOL
Sugar alcohol
D-glucitol
D-glucitol syrup

STEVIOL GLYCOSIDE
Rebiana

SUCRALOSE
1',4,6'-Trichlorogalactosucrose
Trichlorosucrose
Equal Sucralose
NatraTaste Gold
Splenda

TAGATOSE
Natrulose

XYLITOL
Sugar alcohol
Smart Sweet
Xylipure
Xylosweet

Artificial Sweetener Danger #2: Tricking your body into overeating

“The second hidden danger of artificial sweeteners is that they can make you overeat,” says Dr. Oz who explains to viewers that one of the powers of artificial sweeteners is that they can trick your brain.

Dr. Boham explains that the reward center of the brain is important in that it controls our appetite. Her example is that normally when we eat a piece of cake with natural sugar in it, the reward center of the brain releases feelings of pleasure. However, with a 2nd, 3rd, etc., piece of cake, the pleasure reward becomes less intense with each subsequent bite and our body learns just how much cake to eat without overdoing it. The problem with artificial sweeteners is that they confuse the reward center of the brain. As a result, this causes a person to continue eating as their brain and body try to reach that same feeling of pleasure that comes from eating cake made with natural sugar.

“You end up eating more calories,” says Dr. Boham.

“Once your brain is affected, these sweeteners also dull your taste buds…you’ve actually numbed your taste buds with fake sweetness. You won’t taste real foods the way you used to,” adds Dr. Oz as he points out that another problem with eating artificial sweeteners is that they are so powerful in their level of sweetness that it interferes with how our body normally reacts to natural sugar.

Artificial Sweetener Danger #3: Tricking your gut

Dr. Bonham tells viewers that another problem with artificial sweeteners is that they actually trick your gut. She explains that we have taste receptors in our gut that when exposed to natural sugar will then trigger a hormonal response that helps control how much we eat as well as help maintain normal blood-sugar levels. However, artificial sweeteners can cause the body to not react hormonally as it should to real sugar. This is because fake sugars provide empty calories and this confuses the body’s normal hormonal response to where it may not recognize and respond appropriately when food is eaten. The crux to this is that it can thereby raise blood-sugar levels and cause diabetes.


Artificial Sweetener Danger #4: Can be made from gene modified organisms (GMOs)

“Some artificial sweeteners come from foods like corn and sugar beets and soy; and in the United States a lot of those crops are genetically modified. So that’s another place where we are getting a lot of GMOs in our diet and we don’t even realize it,” says Dr. Bonham.

Dr. Bonham’s recommendation to viewers is that they really need to cut out the artificial sweeteners. She tells viewers that by cutting out artificial sweeteners not only will its ill health effects be reversed, but that it will also get easier over time to stay away from artificial sweeteners because your taste for food will improve. She recommends that you begin by cutting your usual dose of artificial sweetener in half in your coffee and give your brain and taste buds time to adjust to where you can eventually cut the artificial sweeteners out completely.

For more about the hidden dangers of artificial sweeteners, click-on the titled link, “Dr. Oz Reveals New Health Risk Warning about Artificial Sweeteners.”

Image Source: Courtesy of The Dr. Oz Show

Reference: The Dr. Oz Show

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