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Old 03-21-2013, 08:00 PM   #1
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The sugar debate. Tired of being lectured.

I have a friend of mine who insists that regular sugar is healthier for you then a sugar substitute. I cannot argue that AS may be bad for you, but Icertainly cannot endorse regular table sugar as being "better" for you. I know that NO sugar or AS would be the best way to go. But I am not at that point yet.

BUT, if you need to cut sugar, for health benefits, isn't it better to use AS? Or is it better to still use regular table sugar and just cut the amount?

She is telling me I am going to die of cancer.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:11 PM   #2
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Sugar is worse.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:24 PM   #3
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Sugar is worse.
That is what I say. She disagrees. She says I am going to die from cancer by eating AS. I have severe health anxiety and that doesn't make me feel very good. Yes, I am admitting here on the LC boards. I have hypochondria. So now I am petrified I am going to get cancer from ingesting AS since cutting sugar and going LC.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:24 PM   #4
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I've searched hard for evidence against sweeteners. I found tons of vague suspicion but very little science. Agencies in several countries have done many, many studies. I think there are 2 total rat trials that managed to cause tumors, both funded by the sugar industry and both using doses that a human literally could not consume (the water in 50 gallons of soda will kill you before the sweetener).

It does seems that sweeteners might alter the taste of other foods or increase appetite in some people so individual judgment is a good idea.

I'm always astonished when people think sugar is "natural" or wholesome--there are half a dozen processing/refining steps and it serves no purpose in the body. Big clue: sugar shares a digestion path with alcohol--the first thing that happens is the liver converts it into something else.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:38 PM   #5
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Cancer cells surive and grow by eating sugar. Period. They cannot eat artificial sweeteners. They eat glucose.

And ditto everything Pete said.

Like you, I have a friend who tells me, every time I put a packet of artificial sweetener into my tea, that I'm going to die of cancer. Meanwhile, my friend is stirring half a cup of sugar into her tea, weighs more than 100 pounds more than I do, and has all kinds of health problems that I don't have. I'm not losing any sleep over this issue. Sugar is WORSE. Far, far worse.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:53 PM   #6
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I have thought about it. I am having a delayed stress reaction, I guess, to my husband passing away. He had hodgkins lymphoma in 1980, and the radiation treatments back then were harsh and he just passed away last year after an attempt at an artificial heart transplant.

So, now I am kind of freaked out. I won't let the dentist take xrays. I don't want the radiation.

And, just in the past month, I have started freaking about about artificial sweeteners. Cancer can be caused by toxins. AS seem suspicious anyway. I had tried stevia in the past and didn't like it. Now that I am so worried, I find it perfectly acceptable. I just like it much more in tea than coffee (I had not realized that before).

It is pretty good in tea, if you are worried about cancer. Like I have suddenly become pretty worried. I realize there is no reason, no reason at all, to ingest chemicals.

And sugar - good grief, if I have learned anything from reading the paleo blogs it is that cancer (and diabetes, and heart disease, among others) is a westerner's disease associated with eating flour, sugar, and industrial seed oils - processed foods. And now we have the franken version of these - refined white flour, high fructose corn syrup, and transfats.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:55 PM   #7
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Tell your friend that she's upsetting you. Tell her that you'd like to agree to disagree and drop the matter. If she won't, well, she's a lousy friend and not worth keeping around.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:58 PM   #8
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Thank you everybody. So I am gathering the concensus is, sugar is still far worse then AS. I don't know, maybe she is jealous because I dropped 10 pounds in about 3 months. I am now 5'3" and currently weigh 133. Down from 143 the first week of January


With having health anxiety, hearing the C word really freaks me out. And her telling me getting C over Diabetes is far worse.((sigh)).

Again, many thanks.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:29 PM   #9
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Generally... yes, I'd say sugar is probably equal to if not worse than AS. That being said, I try to stay away from AS as much as humanly possible (which is usually all the time!) and instead choose stevia or xylitol. Or sucralose in commercial products since it's much more prevalent.

I definitely agree with Michelle's comment about your friend though. Definitely let her know that her comments are upsetting you, and aren't welcome if you haven't already. Tell her she's welcome to her opinion, but you're going to have to agree to disagree. If she keeps bringing it up and it upsets you enough, maybe it's time to reevaluate that friendship? Or at least hang out with her in situations where you know you won't be using AS! I'm sorry she's upsetting you like that

Meanwhile if YOU'RE worried about AS being a bad choice, maybe you could look into switching to sucralose or something if you're not terribly attached to the AS? I'm not sure what your situation is in particular or why you use AS versus other sweeteners, but as others have said on the board... other LCF's have used AS for years and had no negative health consequences from it. I say do what you feel is right for you, and stand up for yourself and your decisions if you need to
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:08 AM   #10
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Fyi, AS=artificial sweetener, sucrolose is an AS

Many studies show that cancer feeds on sugar and of course is the devil behind diabetes.



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Old 03-22-2013, 12:15 AM   #11
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Fyi, AS=artificial sweetener, sucrolose is an AS

Many studies show that cancer feeds on sugar and of course is the devil behind diabetes.



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Ahhh usually when I see people saying AS I notice they're talking about aspartame, so I always assumed people were just abbreviating aspartame. I do know sucralose is an artificial sweetener
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:18 AM   #12
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In my view, it's a matter of what works for YOU. As far as what's good and what's bad for me, here is my framework - every person has to decide their own path, because what works for me might not work for you. But as for your friend - feel free to ignore her.

Acceptable (to me):
*NO sweetener of any kind = best
*Stevia = better
*Saccharine (Sweet'n Low, the pink packet) = not terrible, not cancerous, not given to killing off your friendly gut bacteria, no insulin spike...

Not acceptable (to me):
*Aspartame (Equal, the blue packet) = bad... (if I get a little, I don't freak, avoid 99.999% of the time) excitotoxin, so not good for the brain - some people have extremely bad reactions to it, similar to MSG.
*Sucralose (Splenda, the yellow packet) = avoid, avoid, avoid - the reasons are legion.
*Plain table sugar = avoid, for reasons of insulin spikes, weight gain, fatty liver, high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc...
*Agave syrup and other similar "natural" fructose sweeteners = avoid - they're not at all a healthful alternative, especially for your liver. No different that HFCS as far as I can see.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:19 AM   #13
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The things I drink, such as Crystal Light has Aspartame in it. The flavored sparkling beverage has sucrolose in it. If I bake I usually will use Steviva or nothing. I also drink Almond milk. I am not a water fan unless I am working out.

I told my friend I do not want to discuss it any further. It stresses me out way to much.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:33 AM   #14
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If I die of cancer due to consuming artificial sweetners at least I won't need an extra large coffin.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:54 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by picklepete View Post
I've searched hard for evidence against sweeteners. I found tons of vague suspicion but very little science. Agencies in several countries have done many, many studies. I think there are 2 total rat trials that managed to cause tumors, both funded by the sugar industry and both using doses that a human literally could not consume (the water in 50 gallons of soda will kill you before the sweetener).

It does seems that sweeteners might alter the taste of other foods or increase appetite in some people so individual judgment is a good idea.

I'm always astonished when people think sugar is "natural" or wholesome--there are half a dozen processing/refining steps and it serves no purpose in the body. Big clue: sugar shares a digestion path with alcohol--the first thing that happens is the liver converts it into something else.

I'm not sure this last part is true or I misunderstand? Unless one in on a completely ketogenic diet, the exact opposite is true from what I remember in my physiology class: as in our body turns everything it needs for energy into glucose (sugar) then through a process called glycolysis, we get energy. That said, everyone is in agreement that pure sugar is bad for you as the story is a bit more complicated than just energy.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:01 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by oceanlover66 View Post
I have a friend of mine who insists that regular sugar is healthier for you then a sugar substitute.

She is telling me I am going to die of cancer.
She is saying that because she thinks you are using aspartame and splenda. She probably doesn't know about erythritol and stevia.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:38 AM   #17
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I'm not sure this last part is true or I misunderstand? Unless one in on a completely ketogenic diet, the exact opposite is true from what I remember in my physiology class: as in our body turns everything it needs for energy into glucose (sugar) then through a process called glycolysis, we get energy.
I should have specified the fructose half (the glucose half works as you describe). Fructose is too reactive to have in general circulation so the liver tries to quarantine it ASAP. In small doses it will make glycogen from fructose but the rate limit is no match for modern soda/candy/etc
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:41 AM   #18
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She is saying that because she thinks you are using aspartame and splenda. She probably doesn't know about erythritol and stevia.
Well this is the thing. My crystal lights have aspartame, and Total 4-C has Splenda. My flavored carbonated beverage has sucrolose. So, this stuff is dangerous then?

Is Steviva the same as Stevia?

Oh my. I am going to get cancer.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:55 AM   #19
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She may feel strongly that AS is bad. I feel AS is bad, mainly aspartame, but also splenda and the like. However, I stay away from sugar too. I wouldn't say sugar is "better." You have every right to choose which one you will use, although sparingly which it sounds like you do. Certainly better than pouring tons of sugar in your coffee. I would try to make her understand that you don't think either is ideal but you choose AS.. the lesser evil for you, if you will.

I feel really strongly about aspartame and splenda because they give me terrible migraines and I have read very convincing books about them... but I don't say anything when I see friends or family using a packet in their coffee, or drinking diet soda, it's just not my place. If someone asks me, I will tell them a little bit, and if they want to know more, I can point them in the direction, but for the most part, we are all entitled to make our own decisions.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:13 AM   #20
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It seems there are two different issues here, one as to whether artificial sweetners are bad for you, and two, "tired of being lectured".

As for artificial sweetners...yes, they're bad for you. Will you get cancer? I don't think anyone can say. Some people are exposed to many carcinogens and never get cancer, some do. Cancer is complicated. I think the best thing you can do is to try to stay in good health and to live as clean and healthy a lifestyle as you can within your life circumstances (sometimes we can't do much about pollution, etc.) and then try not to worry about the rest. Also, you might look into natural sweeteners if you are far along enough in the weight loss process to add more carbs. There are some moderately low GI ones. Even honey is a relatively high GI natural sweetener, but I still have yet to meet someone who got fat from putting honey in their tea or coffee.

As for lecturing... perhaps the next time the subject comes up, it would be good to graciously tell your friend something along the lines of thank you for your concern, I know you feel strongly about this issue and you are saying this because you care about me, but I feel this is the best decision for my life right now even if you don't agree with it.

(I would say the same thing if the friend was arguing for veganism, or anything else)
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:19 AM   #21
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I tend not to be diplomatic anymore when it comes to how I eat.
1st time. My response is usually, the way I eat is not up for discussion.
2nd time and beyond. You really need to mind your business. If I didn't ask for your input, then I don't want it.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:23 AM   #22
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The science is not clear. These products are FDA approved. My biggest concern is that the body responds to a least some AS as if they were sugar (by producing insulin). But these are highly personal decisions, just as personal as any WOE. (Way of Eating)
A friend is entitled to their personal opinion but using the C buzzword is bound to trigger upset, given your recent loss. A friend would support you, not drag you down. I would tell her you expect her to be supportive. If she can not, then she's not much of a friend.
I prefer Splenda. I try to minimize the amount I use. That's the best I can do.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:33 AM   #23
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I'd be interested to see some evidence of the "sucralose is bad for you" claims. Maybe there's something new that I haven't seen yet, but when I researched it a few years back, I couldn't find anything conclusive.

I think of it like this:

benefits of sugar: none
benefits of sucralose: it keeps me off sugar

I know it would probably be better to have neither, but I'm not there yet.

As to the friend lecturing, anyone who tries to scare a hypochondriac into thinking she's going to die of cancer isn't much of a friend.

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Old 03-22-2013, 10:50 AM   #24
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Maybe nutrition is like religion and politics--best kept to oneself.

My close friend's doctor diagnosed him T2D and put him on a 10% fat vegetarian diet I just had to nod and smile.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:11 AM   #25
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I guess I was seeking an answer to the "lesser of two evils". I know the FDA
approves of AS, and Stevia. But they also approve of a lot of things that later on down the road says "OOPSIE so sorry".

I wonder if there is any true case studies on people who consume AS and people who die from cancer due to the fact that is what caused it.

And I have already told my friend, my way of eating is not up for discussion. If she wants to chomp down on a huge brownie with a full fat glass of milk, that is her issue.

Thank you so much everyone.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:12 AM   #26
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oh, one more question. What is the difference between Stevia and Steviva?
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:38 PM   #27
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Quote:
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If I die of cancer due to consuming artificial sweetners at least I won't need an extra large coffin.
Yes, we're far more likely to get cancer from being overweight than from AS. And I'm also a health anxiety sufferer oceanlover66, so I know how that feels
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:02 PM   #28
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I wonder if there is any true case studies on people who consume AS and people who die from cancer due to the fact that is what caused it.
I don't believe there's been a single case of cancer that could be directly attributed to AS. All the studies linking AS to cancer have been done with mice, and from what I recall they were all fed enormous amounts of AS.
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:21 PM   #29
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Yes, we're far more likely to get cancer from being overweight than from AS. And I'm also a health anxiety sufferer oceanlover66, so I know how that feels
I am so glad I am not alone. Thank you for sharing such a personal matter with me.
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:25 PM   #30
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I don't believe there's been a single case of cancer that could be directly attributed to AS. All the studies linking AS to cancer have been done with mice, and from what I recall they were all fed enormous amounts of AS.
This is what I keep reading as well. All I know is that life before low carb was days filled with sugar. And lots of it.

Since cutting it out, and LC, not only have I lost weight I feel better.

Will be interesting to see what my A1c comes back at in May(I am not a diabetic, but have had impaired FBG and I insisted on an A1C).

And I get another Lipid profile done in August.(again at my insistance). My trigs went from 118 in 2012, to 197 this January. Really hoping it is caused by my diet of sugar and carbs, and not due to a new medication I was placed on last year.(Amitryptiline).

Again, thank you to all my LC friends.
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