Beware of the sweeteners on the market today that are not what they seem. Most people know to steer clear of saccharine (Sweet ’n Low) and aspartame (Equal)- sweeteners that were deemed safe by the FDA and later found to have severely detrimental side effects. There are several new sweeteners with cleverly produced commercials telling you they are “honestly sweet” and “all natural.” There is nothing honest or natural about the following products…
SPLENDA- the little yellow packet made by Johnson & Johnson. It is a chemical called sucralose. Studies have shown it is more toxic than aspartame, proven to damage your DNA, and causes cancer in mice. There are no long term studies done on humans. Unfortunately, we as consumers end up being the human long term study. It is produced in a 5 step chemical process that adds 3 chlorine molecules to sucrose (table sugar) creating a bond that doesn’t even exist in nature. Hmmmm…guess it isn’t so natural after all. Where it does exist currently is in DDT (toxic insecticide), PCB (toxic carcinogen), and Agent Orange (herbicide used in the Vietnam War). Enough said. This stuff is bad news!
TRUVIA- this is Coca-Cola’s version of stevia. The stevia plant is actually a very healthy herb that is naturally very sweet. Unfortunately, Truvia, doesn’t resemble that plant in any way, shape, or form. Coca-Cola takes GMO (genetically modified) stevia plants and puts them through a patented extraction method using chemicals like acetone (think fingernail polish remover), methanol, and ethanol. They add dextrose, maltodextrin, or erythritol which are sweeteners made from GMO corn. Not sounding all that “honestly sweet” any more, is it? If you look at the label, you will see that stevia is not even listed in the ingredients. Other brands to avoid are PURE VIA (made by Pepsi), ENLITEN, and STEVIA IN THE RAW. There are several brands that don’t use chemicals in their extraction and are okay- SweetLeaf, NuNatural, and NOW.
NECTRESSE- made by the same people who brought you Splenda…this is the newest sweetener on the market, incorporating an asian melon called monk fruit. The commercial claims it has “nothing artificial,” which is simply not true. While it does have a small amount of monk fruit, also known as Lo Han Guo, the other three ingredients are all from GMO foods.
Your best bet is to stick with real food and use it VERY sparingly- raw organic honey, pure organic maple syrup, organic coconut sugar. If you are looking for a beverage sweetener, go with one of the good stevia brands listed above. Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi are about making money, not making us healthy. Stay away from those brightly colored packets. The only thing at the end of that rainbow is a pot full of chemicals.