Sucralose has been marketed as being just one small step away from sugar nutritionally but tasting just like it. It’s used in a lot of “no carb” snack foods and regular folks, as well as people on carb-restricted and diabetic diets, use it for baking, coffee and cereal as a sugar substitute.
I was at a dinner party recently and one of the guests told me about some work he did on sucralose (I have since confirmed his story with numerous sources) that I found shocking. He explained that to make sucralose, the manufacturers use a chemical to alter sugar molecules so they become an agent your body can’t recognize or metabolize. To achieve this molecular transformation, they use…wait for it…the leading toxic agent in nerve gas.
Yes, Agent Orange was used to make that little yellow packet you tear every morning and pour in your coffee. But beyond the potential health effects, I was fascinated and appalled by the impact on the employees.
In the U.S., sucralose is made in a remote area where there is less likely to be harm from a toxic spill. Within the isolated building, there is a reinforced room with robots that handle the nerve gas. That’s creepy, but at least no one is exposed to the nerve gas assuming there is no accident, right?
Hold on, though, because most sucralose is made in China, not the U.S. And, in China, and they do not use robots to handle the nerve gas. They use their employees.
If that isn’t enough to pull you away from sucralose and the fear that you can’t cut out sweets or that you’ll become fat if you use sugar instead of this manufactured substitute, let’s review the health effects of eating sucralose.
A recent study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environment showed that average levels of sucralose consumption were linked to the following negative health outcomes.
- Increase in weight gain
- More importantly, it can harm your body’s ability to self regulate carbohydrate consumption.
- Decrease in gut bacteria by 50%
- Gut bacteria are key to healthy digestion and healthy immune systems.
- Increase in PH level in the gut
- Increased acidity in the gut interferes with digestion and can damage the vital intestinal wall lining.
- Imbalance in P-glycoprotein
- This could interfere in the absorption of medications used in chemotherapy, AIDS treatment, and treatments for heart conditions.
On top of this, consumers have reported a host of other negative side effects from eating sucralose, including migraines, dizziness, allergic reactions and seizures.
There are similar problems with other sugar substitutes, so the answer isn’t switching to another kind. And, stevia is questionable as well but that’s another blog in the future. So for the 95% of us who like to have some sweetness in our food and drink, what should you use for sweetener?
Whole fruit. Start with whole fruit and then you’ll hardly, if at all, need any additional. Dicing fresh fruit is the best way to maintain nutrients and fiber but purees and dried fruits are also far superior to sugar or sugar substitutes. Just don’t juice your fruit. It’s a fad for some now, but since juicing eliminates the fiber, your body treats it metabolically is just like sugar.
So throw a few dates in your smoothie, toss berries and coconut on your granola, or put slices of apples on your peanut of sunflower butter sandwich. It will be a treat for your taste buds and your body. If you really want sweetener for your coffee, try palm sugar or molasses (yes, it’s quite tasty in coffee).
Your food will taste better and your body will be happier and you won’t be asking anyone to handle a toxic agent like nerve gas to satisfy our sweet tooth.