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Postby holly80 » Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:29 pm

I have been using equal in my coffee, I wanted to ask is one packet of which is apparently the same as 2 tsp of sugar healthier for you when trying to lose weight?


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Re: equal

Postby Butterfly_Dawn » Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:21 pm

Equal is aspartame, one of any number of artificial sweeteners. Food authorities have generally approved them as safe but aspartame in particular can be problematic, especially if you have phenylketonuria (PKU) which stops you being able to absorb a particular amino acid that then can build up in your body to nasty levels. Products with aspartame have to carry a warning for people with this condition! Another sweetener that has been linked to nastiness is Saccharine which was linked to bladder cancer in rats. It was almost banned but a couple of studies appeared to counteract the cancer claim. Many experts are still wary though.

The other thing is that one of the mechanisms by which these things work is that your body can't absorb it as well as sugar. The downside to this is that it can cause gas and diarrhea if you have too much :x

My personal completely totally biased opinion that you should take with a whole truckload of salt: I personally don't use artificial sweeteners because I would rather have smaller amounts of 'real' food than some chemical produced in a laboratory.

Try googling it. My source was ... 033005.htm

SO getting back to your question... You would be consuming less energy (artificial sweeteners are sweeter so you use less and your body doesn't absorb it as readily) so in the sense that it would help you reduce your caloric intake and therefore hopefully lose weight, it CAN contribute to health. Whether you think it is god for you overall depends on whether you accept the ok given by food authorities and whether you personally think it's ok or not (and it's up to you how much reading you do on the subject). I'm assuming here that you don't have access to a research grant and a couple thousand participants and monitoring GP's for a gold standard study :wink: If you do, let me know when you've finished and I'll have a read!
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Re: equal

Postby Shalimar » Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:26 pm

Speaking for myself I use CSR smart sugar, it is 99.5 sugar and .5% artificial sweetener. I only use one sachet per day and sometimes not even that. It tastes ok but I'm thinking of even giving that the flick.

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Re: equal

Postby Freddy » Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:11 pm

[b]Memo:[b] Aspartame is the same sweetener as used in diet coke and other diet soda's. I'm not sure how much coffee you drink, but research has proven that it can cause cancer when drinking 2 bottles of diet soda each day.

I drink 2 glasses of diet coke a day, so I'm safe ;)
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Re: equal

Postby EvilWombatQueen » Sun Sep 21, 2008 12:38 pm

Artificial sweeteners have been shown to increase hunger (at least in clinical studies using rats). Perhaps you should try a week using artificial sweeteners and a week using real sugar and see if it makes a difference to your appetite. There's no point in saving 25 calories by not having sugar and then eating a 100 calorie snack because you're starving!

The best option of course is to do away with any added sweetener altogether. But for those of us with a sweet tooth that's a pretty drastic step to take!

If you're worried about the chemicals aspartame and saccharin but still want a zero calorie sweetener you could always switch to stevia. It's completely natural and is made from the leaves of a South American plant. You can buy it in tablet or powder form at any health food store. It's a lot more pricey than Equal (between $5 and $10 for a container) but it lasts ages and if you want a natural alternative it's a good choice.
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Re: equal

Postby SarahC » Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:30 pm

I agree, stevia is the best :D

I also heard (and maybe someone has some evidence for/against) that splenda isn't so bad, because it's made from sugar. Also erythritol I've heard is the best of the bunch as far as sugar alcohols are concerned... :?
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