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All Things Sweet

Sugar Free Doesn’t Always Mean Free of Sugar

Ever feel as if what you’re eating couldn’t possibly not have sugar in it? I mean it’s sweet and what does zero-calorie soda really mean? How is that even possible? Let us tell you. There are lots of different options food manufacturers have when deciding what to use to make their products sweet with those tantalizing labels like “low sugar”, “zero sugar” and “no calories”. They use sugar substitutes like sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners.

Sugar Alcohols

We all commonly eat what is known as sugar alcohols. These are what make up most sugar substitutes in prepackaged foods that we consume. There are many different kinds: Xylitol, Sorbitol, Erythritol, Maltitol, Mannitol, Isomalt, and Lactitol. Most of these are made from some corn product or byproduct. While these sugar alcohols do have a lower glycemic index than normal sugar and are not as damaging as artificial sweeteners, they still are not the best option for sweetening your foods. They have been known to cause adverse side effects in the gut, ones you can find mentioned here

Many of these sugars are already included in the everyday products we can find in stores. They are used as a way of reducing sugar in said foods. Look at any loaf of bread in the grocery store and it will most likely have sorbitol as one of the ingredients. They say on the package that it is for preserving, which is one of its uses; however, it also adds sweetness as a benefit which reduces the amount of sugar or corn starch needed. Though this sugar does occur naturally in some fruits, if you read labels on jams and jellies, it may be there naturally and artificially as a preserving agent. 

Since these chemicals increase the sweetness of products without having to use real sugar, or maybe just not as much sugar, they can claim to be “low sugar” and “low calorie” since they really don't add any calories.

Artificial Sweeteners

On the other side you have artificial sweeteners. One of the most used sweetener is Aspartame. It is found in diet sodas, sugar-free ice cream, gum, yogurt, sugarless candy, gelatins, puddings, juices, vitamins, cough drops, and in the blue packets in the caddies at your local diners. Although these have been reported to be better for you than regular sugar, that's still a debated topic as the long term effects of daily consumption have not been fully studied. You can find a study done on this very topic here.

To give you a little bit of background on what exactly Aspartame is, this is the definition given by the National Library of Medicine:

"Aspartame is a dipeptide obtained by formal condensation of the alpha-carboxy group of L-aspartic acid with the amino group of methyl L-phenylalaninate. Commonly used as an artificial sweetener. It has a role as a sweetening agent, a nutraceutical, a micronutrient, a xenobiotic, an environmental contaminant, an apoptosis inhibitor and an EC 3.1.3.1 (alkaline phosphatase) inhibitor. It is a dipeptide, a carboxylic acid and a methyl ester. It derives from a L-aspartic acid and a methyl L-phenylalaninate." (https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Aspartame)

Some of those roles we know and some of them are a little bit more interesting. For instance, as defined by an article in the Encyclopedia of Toxicology, “Environmental contaminants are any physical, chemical, biological, or radiological substance or matter that has an adverse effect on air, water, soil, or living organisms.” (Steve D’Surney, Mike Smith, 2005, pp. 526-530)

[Chemicals of Environmental Concern]

Isn’t that interesting? Let’s dig a little more. An apoptosis inhibitor is any protein that blocks the natural death of a cell. When cells don’t die naturally they keep reproducing, otherwise known as cancer. So although this isn’t considered a carcinogen, a thing that causes cancer, we can draw our own conclusions based on the above mentioned role. (Apoptosis Inhibitors) You can learn more about the importance of apoptosis here.

Now for the last one, an alkaline phosphatase inhibitor. We know what an inhibitor is but what is alkaline phosphatase? It is an enzyme naturally found in your body including the digestive system, liver, kidneys, and bones. The level of alkaline phosphatase in your blood is a good indicator of the health of your body and organs. Aspartame can affect those levels and give an inaccurate reading of your alkaline phosphatase inhibitor which can do much harm.(https://www.healthline.com/health/alp)

All this for only one artificial sweetener, you can imagine how the rest of the five stack up. Even though these options may be marked as better for people struggling with diabetes because they don’t cause glycemic index levels to increase, they have been found to increase weight gain which is certainly part of the initial problem for those with Type 2 or Pre-diabetes.

What this all means is that even though many different government offices across the globe have ruled artificial sweeteners as safe to consume, that doesn’t mean we should. 

It can be so hard to accomplish health goals for everyone. Even though decreasing sugar is a challenge we don’t think it should be a sacrifice. You should still be able to have the satisfaction of sweetness while being able to stick to your goals. That’s one of the reasons we decided to invest in this miracle berry. There are too many sugar options, misinformation, and guessing about whether all of the substitutes are better for you or whether they actually hinder you. 

That’s why we say, you don’t need any of those other options, you just need mberry to get your sweet fix. It is an all natural plant and mberry contains 0 grams of sugar. It will not increase sugar levels in the body or have any effects, besides sweetness, to the body. 

 

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