Since long humans have been looking how to satisfy their sweet taste. Ancient civilization used honey, and later people learned to extract sugar from sugar cane and other crops. A long time ago, when labor was more physical, the calories in sugar were more appreciated.
Today, many people have sedentary jobs. We easily get our food from the refrigerator, vending machine, convenience store, supermarket or restaurant. So, this days we often prefer a calorie-free sweetener to satisfy our sweet tooth. For decades, people have consumed saccharin and aspartame (found on NutraSweet and Equal) in sodas and as sweeteners for tea, coffee, and other beverages and foods. More recently, other artificial sweeteners have become available: acesulfame potassium( found in Sweet One and Sunette) sucralose (found in Splenda) and neotame. In addition to processed foods and drinks, some of these are available as a tabletop sweetener. Although these sweeteners tickle the sweet buds on your tongue, they contain hardly any calories (between 0 and 4, depending on the brand) to your diet. They are much sweeter than sugar. Aspartame and acesulfame potassium are 200 times sweeter than sugar. Sucralose is 600 times sweeter, saccharin is 200 to 700 times sweeter and neotame is up to 13,000 times sweeter, according to the FDA. So you don’t need to take as much of them as you would of sugar to get the same sweetness in your foods and drinks. Because artificial sweeteners are chemically different from sugar, they don’t cause the same problems. When you eat sugary foods, bacteria in your mouth quickly multiply, and create acids that can damage the soft enamel on your teeth. Artificial sweeteners don’t cause this problem and you will have a much lower risk of tooth decay. Also, artificial sweeteners are a blessing for people with diabetes. Unlike sugar, which cause dangerous rise of blood sugar, artificial sweeteners have no effect on it. Different sweeteners with different side effects. If you look on the Internet, you will find a lot of information about their dangers. And when you have a good look at the controversial claims, there is some precedent for why people may be careful with sugar substitutes.
In 1969 the FDA banned the use of a sweetener called cyclamate as it can cause bladder cancer. Following research revealed those concerns to be unfounded, and as of 2007, the FDA was reviewing a petition to reapprove the substance. In the 1970s, the FDA considered banning saccharin because of concerns that it could cause bladder cancer in laboratory rats. Foods with saccharin had to wear a warning label for many years, though they no longer must do so. But according to the National Cancer Institute, the effects shown in rats don’t apply to humans, and studies on groups of people “have revealed no consistent evidence that saccharin is connected with bladder cancer.”
According to the FDA, these sweeteners “must be approved as save before they can be marked”’ and “for each of the approved sweeteners, the typical amount used by US consumers is well within designated ‘acceptable daily intake levels,‘ or levels that can be consumed safely every. day over a lifetime.”
The artificial Sweetener Blues Despite their benefit for people with diabetes, artificial sweeteners have failed in their main purpose to help people enjoy sweets without gaining weight. People have been getting heavier since the sugar substitutes were first introduced, says Christina M. Stark, MS, RD, an extension associate at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. In a landmark study of more than 80,000 nurses, Harvard researchers found that the single best dietary predictor of weight gain was how much saccharin the women ate. A later study showed that people who used artificial sweeteners were on average 2 pounds heavier than people who did not.
Although artificial sweeteners add little or no calories, they will only help you lose weight if you use them instead of sugar. “Since artificial sweeteners came out, consumption of both regular sugar and artificial sweeteners have gone up “explains Stark. “We just added them to our sugar consumption, so we are getting more total calories.”
Artificial sweeteners can help you to lose weight if you know how to use them. You can’t assume, for example, that “sugar free” means calorie-free.” A cake made with artificial sweeteners may not contain sugar calories, but it could have a lot of calories from fats or other carbohydrates besides sugar.