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SP's focus on artificial sweeteners



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HEAT04
Posts: 115
6/4/13 2:11 P

I've been finding that people's food preferances are getting to be as polarizing as politics or religion. I don't know why it has to be that way, though. I don't judge people for what they eat and I expect the same courtesy. It's just weird to me.

I use Splenda in my coffee, drink an occassional Diet Coke, eat pasta, and cook from scratch when I can. Moderation and portions work for me. I still consider myself eating 'real' food.



CBR0422UNCW
SparkPoints: (2,725)
Fitness Minutes: (65)
Posts: 117
6/4/13 12:23 P

Maybe I haven't paid much attention but I haven't really noticed the 'push' from SP. Personally, artificial sweeteners (say the amount found in a can or diet soda) upset my stomach and make me feel like crap (nauseated, hungry and unfocused, etc). That's all the evidence I need to stay away from them. I also find when I eat something with an artificial sweetener that my 'sweet' craving doesn't get satiated and I'm still craving after I eat so I really didn't do myself any favors. I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to eat as 'naturally' as possible. I do that myself and have seen a multitude of benefits to my own health. To each his own though.



OPUSEVA
Posts: 1,304
6/3/13 7:10 P

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A HUGE +1 for Love4kitties post!
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Add the anti-GMO "It's dangerous" nonsense also!
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LOVE4KITTIES
Posts: 1,792
6/3/13 6:15 P

I don't think that Spark People pushes artificial sweeteners. They provide accurate, up-to-date scientific information about these products and leave it to each individual to decide whether or not they want to incorporate them into their diet.

What really puts me off are the people who post stuff like how artificial sweeteners are dangerous, will kill you, will give you a multitude of diseases, etc. when the truth is that most of the artificial sweeteners on the market have been well studied and have been shown to be safe when consumed in normal amounts.

I am put off by the scaremongering that's engaged in by some people here. I get tired of reading how "chemicals" are bad for you when everything on earth (including the earth itself) is made up of chemicals. I get tired of hearing how natural is good and man-made is evil and will kill you when there are plenty of natural things that will kill you and plenty of man-made things that have saved countless lives. I get tired of reading that artificial sweeteners will raise you blood glucose when it's not true. I am really put off by the pseudoscience.





BREWERFAN71
SparkPoints: (29,516)
Fitness Minutes: (52,554)
Posts: 367
6/3/13 5:26 P

I don't really think they "push" this stuff either, but I do think a lot of people rely on the artificial stuff so that's why it may be on here a lot. I have stayed away from artificial sweeteners for a while now just because I can't stand the taste anymore. Then the other day I had a snack & even tho I could tell right away there was sucralose in it, I had the whole portion cuz it was all I had on me. It was the same thing as HONEYLISSABEE-mini rice cakes with sucralose, & I had the same reaction. Shortly after I got bloated, a little nauseous, & gassy, and I felt kind off cruddy for the next day or so until it got out of my system.

I've noticed these last few years my body has less tolerance for many things & I get the above reaction for gluten, sugar alcohols, and fiber additives. I get very annoyed that most protein/snack/meal replacement bars have sugar alcohol and/or fiber additives (inulin/chickory root) in them-I have been researching recipes & will be making my own soon.



SUDENKORENTO1
SparkPoints: (4,940)
Fitness Minutes: (5,264)
Posts: 26
6/1/13 11:14 P

There's a lot of confusion out there about sweeteners. I started reading about it in depth a couple of months ago, and have come up with some interesting information. Certainly all of us need to keep up with the latest info on this subject -- since it seems to fluctuate weekly! Here's what I know or have learned:

Stevia is not artificial. Some brands may be more processed than others, and some have dextrose, xylitol, or erythritol added (so read those labels, people!), but stevia is derived from a plant source, unlike aspartame (NutraSweet) and sucralose (Splenda), which are lab-created.

Honey is processed in the body much the same way that sugar (sucrose) is. However, that doesn't bother some people (including me), and if you're eating raw honey, you're getting nutrients, unlike when you eat sugar.

Agave is not good for you. If you consume agave nectar, even the 'raw' variety, you may as well use high-fructose corn syrup; agave nectar contains upwards of 90% fructose!

So far, the general consensus is that coconut nectar is the best choice for a natural sweetener that doesn't cause insulin spikes, and doesn't have potentially toxic chemicals.



KEEPGOINGEMILY
SparkPoints: (20,149)
Fitness Minutes: (10,436)
Posts: 675
6/1/13 6:38 P

I never noticed a "push" of artificial sweeteners here. I never got the taste for them, I kept buying boxes of the little packets to put in my coffee instead of sugar, but ick! I never liked it. I think I'd rather no sugar than fake stuff!

I'm with you on the real food too, if it's worth eating, it's worth having the full-flavor experience! Much more satisfying than some adulterated, reduced-whatever version in most cases. That's what moderation is for. I may struggle with it at times, but I buy ingredients at the grocery store, not "food!"



PATTISWIMMER
Posts: 4,763
6/1/13 6:29 P

Becky has written good articles on the different sugar substitutes that are well informed.

I agree about the fat.... how much cholesteral you have doesn't matter as much as good choices in fats.. avocado... eggs.... nuts... coconut oil... good fats..



FTSOLK
Posts: 1,205
5/30/13 11:49 P

I definitely think Sparkpeople isn't quite as bad as say, Weight Watchers. There seems to be a decent community that avoids Artificial Sweeteners here, but there are other things that are harder to defend. For example, you're likely to get a mini lecture from a staff member if you post about wanting to drink whole milk instead of skim (personally, while I do rely on processed foods on occasion, I tend to believe the source of the fat is important. I'm not afraid of animal fat- even saturated animal fat because that's what naturally occurs in nature. I figure the saturated fat from the beef I have has GOT to be better than the so-called "healthier" fat from the corn oil that's been so processed it doesn't resemble corn.

Yes, I know too much of anything is bad for you, but I tend to believe that you are better off looking at whether the source is nature or man than necessarily looking at whether it's saturated or unsaturated fat to determine whether something is good for you or not.

I don't eat any artificial sweeteners (including Stevia because it has the same aftertaste). I prefer honey when possible, but I do eat real sugar. When I gave up soda, I went cold turkey. I never did care for the taste of artificial sweeteners, and now I'm actually really sensitive to them. I ordered a salad at Panera once with a low-fat dressing, and it started making me nauseous. Turns out, the dressing also had sucralose or something like that in it. I had Quaker mini rice cakes for the first time in years recently. I had eaten them before with no problem, so I didn't bother looking at the ingredients. Something tasted off, and after about 2-3, I started feeling sick. I guess this makes since since I don't eat any desserts labeled as "low-carb" or "sugar-free" or "no sugar added" unless I can see an ingredient list. I don't even chew gum.



RUSSELL_40
Posts: 16,740
5/30/13 11:41 P

I do think that many dieters want a quick fix, and the food industry is willing to make them feel like what they are eating is healthy. This drive by people to go the easy route, and have some magic chemical that helps them drink 0 calorie pop, or low fat twinkies is why we have so many discussions about non-food.

Yes, SP could make a stand and just say that this stuff isn't healthy for anybody, but they seem to be just giving the info, and letting people decide.

Of course after eating all this non-food, and failing, they don't ever blame it on the fact that they ate stuff that wasn't grown in nature. It had to be whatever diet they were on, and the next diet will do the trick.

If they just stopped and realized that 60% of a grocery store is garbage, they could make a diet based on the 40% of whole, real foods. I think some of the blame lies with food manufacturer's, but in the end them and SP are just responding to the wants of their customers. People want to eat bad food and think it will make them skinny, so manufacturer's produce it, and SP is just answering the questions most asked. The dieters just aren't asking many questions about real food.



ALLIBEAR77
SparkPoints: (23,443)
Fitness Minutes: (35,271)
Posts: 72
5/30/13 11:32 P

Maybe "push" is too strong a word, but I find many of the articles and recipes recommend artificial sweeteners (I do understand that many recipes are member-generated, so SP is not in complete control of that).



RUSSELL_40
Posts: 16,740
5/30/13 11:11 P

I agree with you on artificial food in general. We eat too much processed food with chemicals added so that they can say low Na, or low fat, or even low carb, and it isn't real food.

Not sure if SP is pushing any food in particular though.



PATTISWIMMER
Posts: 4,763
5/30/13 10:48 P

I use stevia... I am personally against aspartame, well all the hybrid sweeteners and fructose but I also disagree with some answers on trivia and have to sort out what sp thinks is the right answer versus the real right answer that they don't know yet



KRISTEN_SAYS
SparkPoints: (73,230)
Fitness Minutes: (34,425)
Posts: 5,088
5/30/13 10:26 P

I don't think they push anything. In an article about artificial sweeteners I just found, they say "At SparkPeople, we acknowledge and respect each member's personal choice to either incorporate sugar substitutes into their diets or not. We will continue to stay on top of the most current food and nutrition research and disseminate this information to our members when available."

But I'm with you. I don't eat any substitutes, no margarine, no frozen meals, "diet friendly" pastries, none of that junk.



ALLIBEAR77
SparkPoints: (23,443)
Fitness Minutes: (35,271)
Posts: 72
5/30/13 9:57 P

Is anyone else here put off by how much SparkPeople pushes artificial sweeteners? I, for one, am a fan of REAL food. I try to stick to fresh veggies, fruit and whole grains as much as possible. But, like most people, I do crave the occasional snack. When I bake, I use real butter and sugar, not any fake stuff. It tastes better, it's better for me (as much as cookies can be "good" for me, lol) and it satisfies my craving more completely.

As for soda, I am convinced it's addictive. I used to drink diet soda all the time, but after reading how it can mess up your metabolism, I weaned myself off of it. Now, I feel like an ex-smoker who gets sick at the scent of cigarettes; I can't stand the taste anymore. But giving it up was really hard initially.



 
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