Monday, December 17, 2007

Pitfalls of the white powders

…Nah, not cocaine. Something more insidious—artificial sweeteners. Every place you go, there they are—the pink, blue, and yellow packets.

…HA is suspicious of ersatz edibles.

…Writing a special story for the LA Times (Nov 19, 2007), Emily Sohn says many Americans are leery of these “almost too good to be true” substances. Researchers come up with links to cancer every so often, but follow-up studies always soothe us, saying not to worry.

…Meanwhile one hundred million Americans consume an average of four artifically sweetened products each day.

…The first to get the hairy eyeball was saccharine.

..Recently, Italian scientists said aspartame causes cancer in rats. Similar studies have raised fears about Splenda (sucralose).

…One scientist said, look what happened when scientists got in the food game—Kool-Aid and Velveeta.

…But the other end of the spectrum is also bogus—organic food is not coming out of pristine soil, with little Disney birds carrying banners overhead.

…Now, of course, they are trying to meld “natural” with artificial—this would be stevia, a sweetener from a plant, not yet FDA-approved for use in foods.

…All of these products trick the tongue into tasting sweetness by triggering certain molecules.

…One problem with this is that these chemicals may not add calories, but they up the craving for sweets so much that if you get your mitts on a real-sugar product, you may flip and gobble too much.

…Eating “diet” foods has not been shown to help much with weight loss.

…As ever, it’s your call. HA, personally, puts sugar in her java. Sugar has been around a few millennia.

...If that's not a test of time, what is?

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