Table or white sugar, AKA pure sugar, comes in several textures or granule sizes, from powdered confectioner’s sugar to coarse sugar used for making fondants and liquors. Pure sugar has been so highly refined as to contain virtually no nutritional value, according to the Center for Natural Medicine. The word, “pure” does not mean natural. It pertains to chemical purity and the result of the purification process; a product that is 99.9 percent sucrose.
According the “USA Today,” sugar is linked to such life-threatening conditions as obesity, hypertension, heart disease stroke and high cholesterol. The Mayo Clinic states, “There’s no sound scientific evidence that any of the artificial sweeteners approved for use in the United States cause cancer or other serious health problems.” The warning label formerly required by the federal government on saccharin has been dropped based on evidence from recent studies.
Substitute sweeteners are made from natural sugar or synthetically produced. Sugar substitutes are substantially lower in calories than cane or beat sugar and, in some cases, contain zero calories. Artificial sweeteners made from naturally occurring substances are often much sweeter than regular sugar. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved acesulfame potassium, aspartame, neotame, saccharin and sucralose for use as artificial sweeteners. “see reference 2”
Although artificial sweeteners can help with weight control, diabetes and reduce dental cavities there have been health concerns associated with sugar substitutes. Concerns flourished following studies in the 1970s which linked saccharin to bladder cancer in lab rats. According to the Mayo Clinic, the National Cancer Institute and other agencies, no scientific evidence exists to prove that artificial sweeteners cause cancer or any other serious health problems in humans. Saccharin, once labeled as being hazardous to human health has been declared safe by the FDA to use as a food additive.
Although still debated, the evidence shows artificial sweeteners to be better for you than table sugar. What is good for you, without a doubt, is the natural sugar found in fruits and vegetables. For eating right and staying healthy, it is best not to use sugar or its substitutes.