When one says the word, sugar, it should immediately raise the question of real sugar versus artificial "sugar". Unfortunately, the artificial stuff is so abundant, we need a scorecard to tell them a part. It would be very helpful if the scorecard also identified the chemical ingredients in the fake sugars. If the FDA was doing its job adequately, the side effects of the fake sugars would be listed on the ingredient labels the same way prescription drugs carry a list of side effects.
Because of this, calling sugar a parody* is not only logical but accurate. The following list may clear up any confusion. fh
*Parody - apology, imitation, spoof, copy, cartoon, farce, joke, takeoff, impersonation
HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP (HFCS)
HFCS is in all processed food in some form or other. Several studies show that it is the primary fuel for the insulin resistance epidemic which leads to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Both have reached epidemic proportions worldwide since the global adoption of the westernized diet that includes an increased consumption of high-fructose corn syrup sweeteners.
Do not confuse natural Fructose with High Fructose Corn Syrup in this discussion. When referencing Fructose, I am speaking of HFCS.
In 2009, a new sweetener hit the market called Erythritol. It is a sugar alcohol and does not provide calories. but the reason there are fewer calories than sugar is because they are not completely absorbed into the body. For this reason, high intakes of foods containing sugar alcohols like erythritol can lead to abdominal gas and diarrhea.
VitaminWater 10 (owned by Coca Cola) contains a natural sweetener, Stevia, That would make it a good drink if it wasn't also loaded with crystalline fructose, sucrose and Erythritol.
There is a 50-50 ratio of fructose and glucose in sugar, but Crystalline fructose is 100% fructose.
AGAVE SYRUP/ NECTAR
Agave is showing up in "healthy" food circles, but the fructose in the agave is as much as 95%. Agave is marketed as a "low glycemic" sweetener because it doesn't have much glucose left so it doesn't raise blood glucose levels. It's safe if one wants non-alcohoic fatty liver disease. "Raw" additions have not been heated, but they are made with a hydrolysis process using enzymes, the same as HFCS. As popular as Agave may be, it should be used with caution. There are agave syrups that are not as healthy as others, so again you must translate the wording on every label.
Stevia is zero calorie, zero carbohydrate, zero glycemic load herbal sweetener. The FDA stated that stevia is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS), allowing it to become a food additive. Once the makers of Equal, Splenda, Cargill and Pepsi got involved, the stevia products we see on the shelves are no longer pure stevia. Where stevia is grown is important. Paraguay provides the true brands of the sweetener while Big Food is getting much of its stevia from China where quality control is questionable. Look for dark or green stevia. The white stevia has been processed. I recommend Sweet Leaf Stevia and Sweet Leaf Stevia Plus fh.
TRUVIA & PUREVIA
Cargill is the maker of Truvia, and PureVia is produced by Pepsi. Both contain the corn-based sweetener called erythritol. There is a furious debate as to whether they are natural, but erythritol is derived by corn and is not well-tolerated by many testers. I would avoid Truvia, PureVia and Stevia in the Raw (stevia with dextrose) brands. fh
NUTRA SWEET or SPLENDA
Both of these sweeteners make good ant poison according to a lady who solved her carpenter ant problem with 2 packets of NutraSweet. It should be no surprise that both have aspartame, the active ingredient that was once classified as a neurotoxin before it was approved by the FDA as a sugar substitute in the early 1980s.
Aspartame accounts for 75% of all adverse side effects reported to the FDA's Adverse Reaction Monitoring System (ARMS) with 10,000 complaints in 1994 alone. By the FDA's own admission, only 1% of those who experience side effects report them. That makes the real count closer to one million (and that was almost 30 years ago). Yet the FDA is so defensive about their stance on aspartame, it took a Freedom of Information Act request to get the full list of 92 recognized symptoms linked to artificial sweeteners that use aspartame. This list is from 1994, and it is difficult to find any changes since that time.
Aspartame has caused seizures, grand mal seizures, vertigo, migraine headaches, insomnia, tremors, weight gain, risk of lymphoma or leukemia, Lyme disease, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and even Alzheimers. Once inside the body, aspartame breaks down into very dangerous components, one of which is formaldehyde, a.k.a. toxin embalming fluid.
Drinking or eating anything that is non-fat, sugar-free, zero calories or low-fat is asking to consume a chemical sweetener that has the potential to bring you unbelievable harm. Sugar is more addictive than cocaine and requires the same dedication to overcoming your addiction as cocaine.
Dr. Al Sears, June 2005
Dr. Mercola, www.mercola.com, January, March, June 2009, June 2012