Why Having Artificial S​weeteners A​re Still Quite Debatable

There are a plethora of pieces written about artificial sweeteners on the net. A lot of them will cite “studies”, most of them being small in nature whether for or against the little packets or spoonfuls or tablets that we tend to put into our coffees, teas or even guzzle by the can or bottle. Most of the pieces written are dead-set against having any sort of artificial sweeteners, giving reasons why they are bad for us, we’ll gain weight or it won’t do for us what we hope that they will but rather, do the opposite.

I’m not a proponent of any one type of eating, drinking or otherwise so, that being said, I also recognize that there’s a tremendous amount of garbage on the net. Which is right and which is wrong? That’s the question that most of us want to get to the bottom of knowing one way or another.

When researchers cannot even agree upon the where, how and whys of things, how the heck can the average person make a decision? Besides, what they find in one study, they will reverse or revamp with another, a week, a month, a year or even a decade later. How is an average Jane or Joe to know if qualified personnel have only small study results upon which to base their conclusions and, even then, cannot agree upon what they really mean? There are simply far too many variables to contend with in order for any sort of conclusion to be drawn by anyone.

Researchers are left scratching their heads when it comes to artificial sweeteners because they truly do not know what causes what. Is it the gut biome that sweeteners screw up, causing weight gain? Does the sweetener create the need for the brain to want or need for more sugar because it has empty calories yet, tastes like sugar or tastes sweet? Is there a difference at all? Were people simply more predisposed to certain ailments such as obesity and diabetes already or did the sweeteners cause it all? The list of questions is endless but, the reality is that they simply do not know the answers, and it’s causing great controversy with those who wish to make a buck, out there, peddling studies (which aren’t conclusive by any means) in order to sell a book, article or news airspace or time. This happens even in blogs, vlogs and everything else that you can think of.

People love to blame their weight, health and other issues on something we’re doing or not doing. After all, it cannot be our faults, can it? There has to be something that we can or need to do in order to combat it. We also want “instant fixes” for anything and everything that we do or don’t do, feel, want, overdo or under-do. We don’t want to believe that the so-called “tablespoon” of something or other was really 2 or 3. A lot of people will fool themselves by believing that they went to the gym 5 days this week and “worked out”, now entitles them to have that extra portion of meat which turns out to be the equivalent of 3 or 4 portions, and those calories, fats, carbohydrates all add up quickly to being a whopping amount that not only negates their 3 hour work-out at the gym but, adds even more calories so that not only are they eating more than what their bodies have expended in caloric intake but, they’ve added even more which results in weight gain.

I’m super suspicious of someone who says something like, “I’ve been to the gym 5 days this week for 2 hours at a time, cut my calories and I’m still gaining weight. How can this be?”

While I have argued this point myself when I’ve taken out the measuring cups, spoons, scales etc., I’ve realized that I’ve not been being honest with myself by any stretch of the imagination. In spite of my increased activity levels, I’ve also been fooling myself into believing that an extra tiny bit of this or that won’t hurt. In fact, when I started to weigh and measure everything more carefully, I realized that I was indeed, eating almost double what I thought that I’d been eating in overages, and that included the work-out estimates for caloric burn. Instead of 1200 calories per day that I thought that I’d eaten, I’d actually consumed more like 2000 calories. That’s an 800 calorie per day difference. For simplicity’s sake, I don’t wish to get into the carbohydrates, fats, sugars and all of those break-downs here. Let’s say that it all added up and was the real reason why I wasn’t losing weight. It would have been nice and easy to have blamed my lack of conscientious calorie amount counting on a packet of Equal, Splenda or Stevia but, that wasn’t the case in all reality. At least, not in my particular case.

One can argue or debate about a speck of lint on the floor and make a case for or against it if they wish. There’s enough ammo if one were to look long and hard enough to build a defense to back their claims one way or another. Is it true though? That’s the question that even researchers aren’t at all sure about. They are hypotheses that are being studied. In spite of claims otherwise, one can’t say that it’s all written in concrete no matter which side of the fence or debate one wants to be on.

To end this piece, let’s take a good look at what we do know though. In other words, let’s look at the facts only and leave the hypotheses for researchers.

A can of regular Coke (trademark) contains:

1 Serving Per Container
Serving Size1 Can
Amount Per Serving
Calories140
% Daily Value
Total Fat 0g0%
Sodium 45mg2%
Total Carbohydrates39g14%
Total Sugars 39g
Includes 39 Added Sugars78%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Protein 0g%
Vitamin D0%
Calcium0%
Iron0%
Potassium0%

Not a significant source of fat, trans fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron and potassium.

Caffeine Content: 34 mg/12 fl oz

INGREDIENTS

  1. CARBONATED WATER, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CARAMEL COLOR, PHOSPHORIC ACID, NATURAL FLAVORS, CAFFEINE.

GMO

This product includes ingredients sourced from genetically engineered (GE) crops, commonly known as GMOs. Click here to see The Coca-Cola Company’s position on GMO’s.

Now, let’s look at a can of Diet Coke and compare:

Nutrition Facts
1 Serving Per Container
Serving Size1 Can
Amount Per Serving
Calories0
% Daily Value
Total Fat 0g0%
Sodium 40mg2%
Total Carbohydrates0g0%
Total Sugars 0g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Protein 0g0%
Vitamin D0%
Calcium0%
Iron0%
Potassium0%

Not a significant source of fat, trans fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron and potassium.

PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE

INGREDIENTS

  1. CARBONATED WATER, CARAMEL COLOR, ASPARTAME, PHOSPHORIC ACID, POTASSIUM BENZOATE (TO PROTECT TASTE), NATURAL FLAVORS, CITRIC ACID, CAFFEINE.

GMO

This product includes ingredients sourced from genetically engineered (GE) crops, commonly known as GMOs. Click here to see The Coca-Cola Company’s position on GMO’s.

That was taken directly from the Coke website.    

Should I have to choose between the 2 of them, I’m going to go for the 0 Calorie version vs Sweeteners the 140 calories that come from “high fructose corn syrup”. At the least, there are 140 calories that I do not have to add to my daily calorie app which is installed on my cell phone. We won’t even get into the other components that are of no good nutritive value either.

Yes, there are even arguments or debates amongst the so-called “experts” about the water that we drink or which make up our tea or coffee. There’s the fluoride, the chlorine, the bacteria etc., in tap water and what that may do to our systems. A debate can be had upon the merits of bottled water having none of these but, the impurities of the “natural springs” water that is said to be in each plastic container, and none of this even mentions the great argument about waste products ending up in oceans and landfill sites or the leached chemicals from bottles being heated and cooled or their effects upon our endocrine systems and hormones which *may* cause certain cancers. Again, the list is endless in this argument.

That all said, what is “healthy” or “perfect” in this life? While some will argue that it’s meat and the high-fat eating of a Keto diet, others will tell you that it’s Interval Eating where one literally fasts for most of their waking hours or even only eat one meal a day. The Vegans and Vegetarians will leap into this debate by telling us all that we’re “damaging the planet by eating meat” or that it’s “inhumane” to consume animal flesh. Others will swear by organics which they will toot as being “pure and naturally grown” and that’s in spite of the fact that we know that our veggies, fruits, meats etc., are all grown or raised upon a lands where there’s run-off from chemicals, “acid rain” from pollution, contaminated soils or water sources anyway. There is nothing that we eat or can put into our bodies that is not going to have some sort of cause and effect upon us in one way or another. It’s a matter of choosing the lesser of the “evils” so to speak.

Of course, then we have the “health nuts” who will eat what they have deemed as being as close to their scruples as possible, not smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol, spending ridiculous amounts of time at a gym yet, light up marijuana, vaped or smoked and claim that it has no ill health effects and only benefits. It cures cancers. Again I have to scratch my head as they are run down by a rogue driver of a vehicle because of mental health issues or, gunned down at a movie theater or shopping mall by an extremist trained whacko. Worse yet, I see psychiatric wards filled with weed proponents who have not learned how to live life without seeing it through a haze of psychedelic drug mental viewpoints. That’s not to knock marijuana users but, merely an example whereby I’m saying that nothing on this planet is perfect and no one lives to be 120 years old anymore. Something or someone is going to end our lives, intended or not and, we’re not even getting into genetics, age and other factors upon which we have no control whatsoever.

If one could ask Dr. Pritikin who allegedly ate “correctly”, was of “normal weight”, a bit of a health fanatic yet died fairly young while battling what’s said to be chronic leukemia or lymphoma and ending his own life at a relatively young age by comparison to his body’s arteries “health age”, it’s likely that he would have said something along the lines of, “had I known that this was the way that I’d die, I would have had that pie and ice cream, donut and a regular Coke while watching a movie on tv and smoking that cigarette!”

Be well, Love and Light and for heaven’s sake, take Life one day at a time, realizing that none of us are promised a “tomorrow” no matter what we eat or drink, how much we obsess over it all or what we do to prevent our deaths. As my grandmother would say, “moderation is key”. My family doctor from years ago would tell you that “in fixing one thing in the medical community, another gets broken”. While none of these examples are endorsements to go hog wild and eat and drink everything in sight or eating and drinking only certain things, it’s saying that by harping on only one thing such as artificial sweeteners or eating plans, we’re missing out on Life. Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow may never come no matter what you do, eat, drink, think or obsess about.

Have a great day or evening, whenever you’re reading this.


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