Posts with Category:

Food Additives

Is Refined Sugar Really Toxic?

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So far in this series, I’ve covered a variety of ‘alternative’ sweeteners: natural sweeteners like honey and stevia; artificial sweeteners like aspartame; and sugar alcohols like xylitol. But what about plain old white sugar? And what about the increasingly common industrial sweetener, high fructose corn syrup? These two get a pretty bad rap, even from mainstream media, and although much of their reputation is deserved, there are some misconceptions that I’d like to straighten out.… Read More

Are Xylitol, Sorbitol, and Other Sugar Alcohols Safe Replacements For Sugar?

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In the last article of this series I discussed artificial sweeteners, and gave you my take on whether you should include them in your diet. This week, I want to talk about sugar alcohols, which are another popular low-calorie sugar substitute. Xylitol is the most popular and most extensively researched, so I’ll focus my discussion on it, but the general takeaway of this article applies to other sugar alcohols as well, such as sorbitol and… Read More

The Unbiased Truth About Artificial Sweeteners

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Artificial sweeteners continue to be a controversial public health issue, and the research keeps coming. In fact, a new study on artificial sweeteners and weight loss was just published on Monday, and the FDA approved a new artificial sweetener (advantame) last Wednesday. On one hand, many people are adamantly opposed to the use of artificial sweeteners because of the purported link with increased risk for cancer and other diseases. But on the other hand, artificial… Read More

Does It Matter If A Sweetener Is “Natural”?

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The ancestral health community and other heath-conscious bloggers have increasingly embraced natural sweeteners such as honey, stevia, and maple syrup as healthier alternatives to refined sugar. But just how much healthier, really, are these natural sweeteners? In this article, I’ll review the three major “natural” sweeteners typically used by Paleo dieters, and determine whether or not these foods belong in a healthy eating plan. Find out if “natural” sweeteners like honey, stevia, and maple syrup… Read More

Is There Any Room For Sweeteners In A Healthy Diet?

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Humans are hard-wired to like sweet foods. Sweet tastes are strongly tied to the reward centers in our brain, and can actually relieve pain and reduce symptoms of depression, PMS, and stress. (1) Unfortunately, these properties strongly dispose us to over-consume sweeteners, and it’s pretty clear that the huge quantities of concentrated sweeteners consumed today are harmful to our health. People are always searching for ways to enjoy sweet foods without the health repercussions, and… Read More

Harmful or Harmless: Guar Gum, Locust Bean Gum, and More

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So far in this series on additives, I’ve discussed magnesium stearate, soy lecithin, carrageenan, and xanthan gum. These are the most common food additives found in processed foods, especially in processed “health” foods, and many health conscious shoppers have been unnecessarily concerned about avoiding some of the less harmful substances I covered in this series. In this final installment, I’ll review an assortment of gums that are often found either alongside or replacing xanthan gum and… Read More