Sweeteners are substances added to food /drink to enhance their taste and enjoyment of them
Sugars ending in -ose: e.g. disaccharides: sucrose, maltose, and monosaccharides: glucose, fructose, galactose, ribose, xylose; allulose;
Other carbs: e.g. inulin, maltodextrin, fructooligosaccharides (FOS);
Chemicals / complex processes: e.g. Saccharin (oxidized o-toluenesulfonamide or phthalic anhydride); sucralose (organochlorine molecule); aspartame (combination of phenylalanine and aspartic acid);
Natural sweeteners: (Extracted from plants). E.g. sucrose (sugar cane or beet), stevia (stevia leaf), honey (nectar);
Semi-artificial sweeteners: (Extracted from plants and chemically modified). E.g. erythritol is produced by fermenting glucose in cornstarch extracted from corn; xylitol is produced from xylose extracted from birch wood;
Artificial sweeteners (Chemically produced).
Nutritive sweeteners (NS) contain calories (also called carbohydrate sweeteners. e.g table sugar, honey, molasses, agave syrup, and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS); Carbohydrate sweeteners provide energy (they also supply a source of carbon for synthesis of other chemicals). Primarily containing sugars, they provide few to insignificant amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) contain no or low calories: e.g. artificial NNS: such as aspartame, sucralose and saccharin, natural NNS: such as monk fruit extract and stevia, and the sugar alcohols: such as erythritol and zylitol.
Refined sugar use has dramatically increased over the last 100 years. However, more recently, sugar is being replaced with other carbohydrate sweeteners, especially high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and non-carbohydrate natural and artificial sweeteners, such as stevia, aspartame, saccharin and sucralose.
The effect of a sweetener on blood sugar and INSULIN levels depends on:
• Whether its carbohydrate content (sugar and starch) is fully digested / absorbed. Some sweeteners are only partially absorbed into the blood stream, some fraction passing straight through and out of the intestines.
• How quickly the absorbed carbohydrate is metabolized. The glycemic index / glycemic load of a sweetener enables us to compare the affect on blood sugar of that sweetener compared to glucose.
A slower rise in blood sugar and INSULIN enables us to burn fat and avoid weight gain long-term
Unfortunately, even though artifical sweeteners have a 0 glycemic rating, they may still raise blood sugar due to other indirect effects. E.g. being toxic to gut bacteria;
Excessive consumption of either NUTRITIVE SWEETENERS or artificial NON NUTRITIVE SWEETENERS can lead to weight gain. The FDA recommendation is to consume no more that 10 teaspoons of added sugar / day, but the average American consumes 4 times that amount. e.g. a 12oz can of coke contains almost 10 tsps.
It is wise to be “ball-park” aware of your intake of carbohydrate grams (which includes sugars) to avoid blood sugar roller coaster rides and eventual INSULIN resistance. For example: A cup of Swiss Miss® hot chocolate cocoa gives you 34g of carbs! (includes 28 g of sugar - i.e. 7 teaspoons of sugar)
Tooth decay occurs with ALL nutritive sweeteners, but not so much due to quantity consumed, but more related to how long the sugar lingers on the teeth. E.g. sucking on a few hard sugar-filled candies or slowly chewing caramels is more detrimental than quickly downing a sugary drink.
Also known as caloric or carbohydrate sweeteners, they include plain old "sugar". Nutritive sweeteners provide energy-supplying carbohydrates. Some sugars are naturally contained in foods, such as fruit (which, unlike refined table sugar, also supply vitamins and minerals; fruit with highest sugar content are (highest first) figs, grapes, mangos, cherries and bananas), however, most of our dietary sugar carbohydrate comes from nutritive sweeteners added to commercial products and home-made foods to enhance flavor and texture, and increase shelf-life.
A chart of nutritive sweeteners and more about them:
The newcomers to the sweetener market are those with low or no calories, but not necessarily low-glycemic. Non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) have zero/ low calories, however, this does not necessarily mean they are low-glycemic sweeteners (LGS), having a low-glycemic effect on blood sugar when digested/metabolized by the body. Some do, some don't.
There are 3 types of NNS: Natural / plant NNS, Sugar alcohol NNS and non-nutritive artificial sweeteners (NAS).
ALL FDA-approved artificial sweeteners are toxic to gut bacteria. This significantly affects the gut microbiome, which has serious consequences for our health.
A chart of NNS and more about them:
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 2009-2012)
Sylvetsky, A.C.; Jin, Y.; Clark, E.J.; Welsh, J.A.; Rother, K.I.; Talegawkar (2017) S.A. Consumption of Low-Calorie Sweeteners among Children and Adults in the United States. J. Acad. Nutr. Diet. 117, 441-448. PubMed
Malik, V.S.; Li, Y.; Pan, A.; De Koning, L.; Schernhammer, E.; Willett, W.C.; Hu, F.B. Long-Term Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and Risk of Mortality in US Adults. Circulation 2019, 139, 2113-2125. PubMed
Pereira, M.A. Diet beverages and the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease: A review of evidence. Nutr. Rev. 2013, 71, 433-440. PubMed
Vyas, A.; Rubenstein, L.; Robinson, J.; Seguin, R.A.; Vitolins, M.Z.; Kazlauskaite, R.; Shikany, J.M.; Johnson, K.C.; Snetselaar, L.; Wallace, R. Diet drink consumption and the risk of cardiovascular events: A report from the Womenâ€™s Health Initiative. J. Gen. Intern. Med. 2015, 30, 462-468. PubMed
Chronic low-level inflammation (CLII) involved in almost all health problems
"The medical kit of the future"
General electrotherapy health benefits. Used systemically and/or locally at specific problem areas of the body, its effective application has many benefits:
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There are several reasonably affordable electrotherapy devices available for personal use. The following electrotherapies are those that have received a significant amount of positive feedback:
|Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy|
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Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) applies specific frequency patterns to the head area, with the following benefits:
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