Whole Grains and Artificial Sweeteners: Which one is best?

Artificial Sweeteners
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

What Are Artificial Sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners are sugar substitutes and are considered food additives. They taste like sugar, but they contain fewer calories. Some of these sugars are natural and others are synthetic. Artificial sweeteners are 300 to 500 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar). People tend to use these sweeteners in toothpaste, diet foods diet beverages to make these products more palatable. Saccharin has a bitter aftertaste, so it is mixed with other sweeteners

How And When Was It Discovered?

In 1879, Remsen and Fahlberg were performing an experiment with toluene derivatives, during which they accidently discovered artificial sweeteners. In 1950, a process was developed to form saccharin from phthalic anhydride and the same process is still used today.

What Are The Types Of Artificial Sweeteners?

In the United States, there are seven types of sweeteners approved for use:

  • Stevia
  • Aspartame
  • Sucralose
  • Neotame
  • Acesulfame potassium
  • Saccharin
  • Advantame
  • Cyclamates are used outside of the U.S.

What Are The Advantages Of Artificial Sweeteners?

People tend to choose artificial sweeteners rather than sucrose because:

  • It’s used mainly for weight loss*.
  • For better dental health.
  • It’s better for people with diabetes mellitus.
  • Avoiding processed foods – individuals may opt to replace refined white sugar with less-processed sugars, such as fruit juice or maple syrup, as a natural source of sweetener.
  • Cost – many sugar substitutes are cheaper than sugar.

What Is Colon?

First, what is the colon? The colon is a hollow tube that runs from your small intestine to your anal opening. Its main function is to absorb water from digested food, and then the remaining solid waste moves from the colon to the rectum and out of the anus.

So How Do Artificial Sweeteners Affect The Colon?

One of the newest and most famous types of artificial sweetener is sucralose, which is marketed under the name of Splenda. The sucralose is made of denatured sucrose which is then chlorinated by replacing the three hydroxyl (-OH) groups with chloride atoms.

According to some studies, Splenda may raise the risk of, or be the direct cause of, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Another study published in 2008 in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health showed it had been discovered that Splenda:

  • Increases* the pH level in your intestines
  • Reduces* the amount of good bacteria in your intestines by 50 percent.
Artificial Sweeteners Affect The Colon

Do Artificial Sweeteners Cause Cancer?

Doubts arose as to whether or not artificial sweeteners cause cancer. According to some studies it has been found that sodium cyclamate, which is combined with saccharin, caused bladder cancer in laboratory animals; the results were inconclusive about whether or not it causes cancer in humans. Results from later carcinogenicity studies of some sweeteners also did not show any sign of cancer in humans. Studies of the FDA-approved sweeteners did not have clear evidence of causing cancer in humans.

Whole Grains Defined

A whole grain is considered the entire seed, which is called a kernel. A whole grain is made up of three main components that are endosperm, germ, and bran. If the kernel is crushed, it must contain the three main parts to be called a whole grain.

Examples of whole grains are:

  • Bulgur
  • Oats
  • Brown rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn
  • Quinoa.

What Can Whole Grains Do For You?

Whole Grains Facts

Whole grains can be very beneficial for your health. They are a natural source of:

  • Vitamins,
  • Minerals
  • Beta-glucan
  • Lignans
  • Phytochemicals
  • Phytin and Sphingolipids
  • Dietary fiber
  • Phytosterols

A full serving of whole grains weighs around 16 grams, and will contain a half gram up to three grams of dietary fiber.

Consuming whole grains can be beneficial as it reduces* the risk of many diseases especially the chronic diseases such as hypertension and cardiovascular diseases (CVD), type 2 diabetes, obesity and colon cancer.

Fiber and resistant starch (similar to fiber) whole grains help the colon by:

  • Preventing Colon Cancer: by minimizing the contact between dietary carcinogens and cells of the intestines. This is done by increasing* the stool bulk and increasing* the speed of transit time.
  • Assisting The Growth of Healthy Bacteria (Probiotics): Resistant starch is a carbohydrate not digested by human digestive enzymes, which provide energy for the healthy bacteria to grow. These bacteria later form short chains of fatty acids that have anti-cancer effect

Studies concluded that every ten grams of fiber consumed daily provided a twelve percent reduction* in colon cancer risk.

Preventing Diverticular Disease

Diverticulitis is inflammation of the intestine, which is a common age-related colon disorder in Western society.

According to long-term studies among male health professionals, eating fiber can reduce* the risk of diverticular disease by 40 percent.

Must Watch – Whole Grain Benefits

Conclusion

Studies are being conducted every day to have more details about the effect of whole grain and artificial sweeteners on our health. What is concluded till now that the amount of intake of artificial sweeteners must be controlled as further studies are needed to study its harmful effect while the whole grain effect is better understandable?

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Author

Expert Author : Lisiana Carter (Consumer Health Digest)

Lisiana Carter has been a freelance health writer for over ten years having written books, blogs and articles. She is the author of a number of websites and teaches people how to enter the freelance writing field.