Another alternative sweetener back in the news

The World Health Organization appears to believe aspartame is a possible carcinogen. It seems that every now and then another sweetener other than the traditional commonplace sugar and honey hits the news, be it as a possible (or identified) carcinogen, such as saccharin and now aspartame, as a digestive problem leading to weight management problems, such as HFCS, as a possible migraine trigger, and so on. I am one of those who simply dislikes the tastes of most of them and has experienced them as migraine triggers. I am alright with the taste of HFCS but notice and prefer the taste of cane sugar. I appreciate that millions of people look to these alternative sweeteners to reduce caloric intake or use HFCS as a result of prevalence and cost. I often find that products made with HFCS cut other corners, leading to overall less desirable products at times. Of course not everyone has the means to be a food snob about these things.

I always liked the perspective of using good old sugar and fat because at least we know what those do. There are plenty of places where alternative sweeteners can be avoided only at great effort. Toothpaste and chewing gum come to mind.

Over time turbinado sugar has taken a larger and larger role in my sweetening arsenal, along with local comb honey and maple syrup. I just cannot get into agave.

Anyone else have thoughts on this to share on the role(s) of alternative sweeteners?

It’s not that simple, though, is it? It’s not like sugar is good for the body. And agave is even worse.

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Look up fructose vs sucrose.

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I’m steering towards real maple syrup, honey, cane sugar and real stevia now, in tiny amounts. I’ve found my digestive and renal systems are irritated by the artificial sweeteners like aspartame and those containing processed sugar alcohols. I switched from ‘no sugar’ ginger ale to ginger tea because of the aspartame. No caffeine for me, either. Sucks getting old.

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I don’t use much sugar or processed foods. When I eat sugar, I know it & do it deliberately - i.e. ice cream or chocolate, etc.

A rare treat is Mexicoke with real cane sugar. I can’t stomach most diet sodas anymore (Dr. Pepper is a rare exception). I add about a 1/5 of a Splenda package to my morning cuppa for just a hint of sweetness, mostly bc it dissolves quicker than sugar.

Make a jar of simple syrup to pour into your cuppa!

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An interesting read. Even though they were talking about high levels of sugar and sugary diets, it seems prudent to eat everything, including sugar, knowledgeably and with intention. My one big, thin, delicious pancake a month and the modicum of sugar in my bread and butter pickles seems reasonable. Processed foods are a rarity in the house. Common culprits like sugary bread, mayonnaise, bottled salad dressings, etc. just never get bought. The bottle of Sriracha ketchup will take months to consume. Desserts are well known to be sugary, but we are moving more to fruit and fruit frozen desserts like mango bars. Oooooooooo

I wish I’d thought of that as we were pouring out some simply syrup we always have in the fridge for cocktails.

I’ll keep that in mind for our return in the fall.

Surprised it has taken them this long to come to that conclusion. Back in mid last century it was wide-spread knowledge that in lab rats developed cancer tunours when they were given Aspartame. The manufacturers claimed, at the time, that this was due to the large doses that the rats had been given. Eventually this argument was enough for the regulators around the world to approve the product for human consumption. Seems the rats were right after all.

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What is interesting to me is that the original Cokes in the iconic bottles were only 6.5 oz, not the 8 oz that the copycat bottles now hold. I try to buy cane sugar sweetened sodas (like tonic for g & t, Mexicokes, and ginger ale), but I restrict my portions to that same 6.5 oz. I think of it like a glass of wine. Sodas, sugar or diet, shouldn’t be thirst -slackers. That’s why water was invented.

I well remember those little coke bottles. I don’t recall anyone, ever, guzzling a handful of them.

Diet soda? Yeah, sometimes, and when I do a drive-through, but I doubt if I drink it every day. I cannot wrap my head around people guzzling any soda. I guess because it’s widely available.


I really like the Polar brand ginger-lime mule seltzer. It has a ginger ale vibe, but with no sweeteners, artificial or otherwise.

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Thanks! I will check into that!

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Interesting! I didn’t know the OG bottles were smaller. The good news? My PIC and I usually share a bottle, so we’re drinking EVEN LESS of that evil soda stuff ;-D

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The more processed it is, the less inclined I am to use it. Industrial fats, artificial sugars, fake meats, things in boxes or bags that last forever: none of these are things that provide real nutrition in your diet. No wonder the world seems to be going to hell in a handbasket. No one can think well when they’re being poisoned.