Before you can understand what blood sugar levels are, you need a little prior knowledge. Here is a technical explanation of the digestion of refined sugar or sucrose:
The first step of the digestion of refined sugar or sucrose is splitting into fructose and glucose. The second step is the conversion of the fructose into another glucose unit. The glucose can then be transported by the blood to all the cells in the body that need energy. For the absorption of glucose in the cells, insulin is needed, a hormone that is made in the pancreas.
Note: Fructose is naturally found in fruit, which you can eat without any problems. But fructose is also sold in processed powder form. This form of fructose is also a form of refined sugar. The vitamins and minerals have been removed and your body has to get them - just like with 'ordinary' white refined sugar - from somewhere else.
Steviol glycosides have been permitted as sweeteners in the USA, Australia and New Zealand since the end of 2008. In other countries such as Japan, Brazil and Korea, steviol glycosides are considered as natural constituents and are therefore accepted for the use in food.
The French government officially authorised the stevia ingredient rebaudioside A as a sweetener in 2009. In April 2010 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assessed the use of steviol glycosides (SVglys) as a sweetener in food as safe. Subsequently, the European Commission approved the use of the sweetener in July 2011. The European Parliament gave its consent on 14 November 2011.
As you may know, many of the sweeteners available on the market have recently become discredited, including aspartame, for example. The sweeteners are used in all kinds of products, including sweets, drinks, syrups, dessert products, snacks, confectionery, jam, ice cream, baked goods and so on.
In addition to the well-known artificial sugar substitutes that gradually conquered the market in the 20th and 21st centuries, there are also natural alternatives. Stevia is a new sweetener for the European market and a good alternative for people who want the sweet taste of sugar but do not want the disadvantages of sugar or artificial sugar substitutes.
Sucralose is a new artificial sweetener and it is already present in a large number of products. Sucralose is even sold in health food stores and manufactured by food-oriented companies, but is sucralose harmful? A number of questions regarding sucralose are justified:
- Has sucralose already been proven safe?
- Are there also studies on the long-term use of sucralose in humans?
- Does sucralose help with weight loss?
- Has sucralose been proven safe for the environment?
- Is sucralose of any benefit to the public?
The answer to each of these questions is unfortunately NO! Is sucralose harmful?
Aspartame is often associated with bad properties. What is correct about this?
Aspartame is the most widely used artificial sweetener in the world; 43% of all sweeteners are aspartame. Furthermore, 34% saccharin, 17% cyclamate and 6% acesulfame K are used.
In this chapter we have tried to gather information about several artificial sweeteners, including aspartame and sucralose, which are currently the subject of much discussion and we try to answer the question whether aspartame is dangerous.