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Artificial Sweetener or Sugar?

Discussion in 'Dieting / Supplement Discussion' started by farmboy, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. farmboy

    farmboy Banned Banned

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    So, would I be better off using sweetener to avoid the empty calories or should I go the natural route and use raw cane sugar?
     
  2. Rjkd12

    Rjkd12 Certified Bastard

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    Haha, this has been discussed quite a bit recently, and there hasn't been 100% agreement between sherdog members. Search for aspartame and splenda and you'll find out all you need to make your own decision.
     
  3. deathfactor

    deathfactor Banned Banned

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    sugar tastes better and it's natural. Honey is also good
     
  4. supersudo

    supersudo Purple Belt

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    avoid anything "artificial"... buy ONLY natural.. :wink:
     
  5. Zeirhk

    Zeirhk Green Belt

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    I recently bought some STEVIA chocolate flavoring for my protein shakes..

    I also tried mixing it with my oatmeal...meh :D
     
  6. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Stevia is the best of both world, if you don't want to make a compromise. It's definitely not as tasty, though, I must agree with Zeirk.

    It's purely natural (derived from an herb) and has 0 calories.
     
  7. grapling101

    grapling101 Brown Belt

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    Splenda is the ONLY way to go if you need sweetner. My opinion
     
  8. Chad Hamilton

    Chad Hamilton Amateur Fighter

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    No.

    Micks right...again dammit.

    Stevia if you don't want the calories.

    Raw sugar is what your body will understand alot more than artificial, and thats very important.
     
  9. Terumo

    Terumo Orange Belt

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    "...what your body will understand..."

    "...natural..."

    People are throwing around words that really have no meaning. What does "natural" even mean, in terms of how the body metabolizes/assimilates something? Very little correlation has been made between "natural" foods and healthful living. Sure, things like DDT and TEMED are synthetic, and they are also toxic to the body. Then again, for every synthetic toxin that comes to mind, I can probably name a natural toxin. However, in the arena of food products, we aren't talking about DDT, rattlesnake venom, or anything even close to those tihngs. We are talking about food. But the idea that synthetic = harmful is principally derived from imagery of a chemist in his lab with lots of beakers full of green fluid and emblazed with biohazard symbols.

    Take vitamin concentrates, for example. most vitamins can be produced synthetically at a tiny fraction of the cost of natural extraction (vitamin E is one of few exceptions, here). The chemical structure, formula, and conformation are identical to those of the natural form. In the body, there is no difference in how the two forms behave. And why would there be? They are identical.

    Now, on to artificial sweeteners... This is a slightly different scenario because artificial sweeteners and sucrose do not possess the same chemical or physical properties. The prior paragraphs only exist to demonstrate that something being "natural" has no argument for or against a product's safety. As far as the argument for or against artificial sweeteners, it has been discussed ad nauseum here and other places. I am almost certain that I have previously contributed on this topic here on Sherdog. I would repost, but it would take at least an hour to type a semi-reasonable argument. Let me know if you can't find it.
     
  10. farmboy

    farmboy Banned Banned

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    That was a very well put arguement. I'll check out your previous post when I get the chance. I appreciate your interest in the subject.
     
  11. Chad Hamilton

    Chad Hamilton Amateur Fighter

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    I've read your posts.
    I don't mind the scientific explanations...but Im a little more advanced being....I look past science along with many other evolved beings here.
    But insightful post nonetheless.
    Thank you.
     
  12. Tommy Seoul

    Tommy Seoul Banned Banned

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    You're an advanced being? You look past the science like other evolved beings? What does that even mean?
     
  13. xXx

    xXx White Belt

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    artifficiall surger like splenda that is supposed to help you lose weight, that is what they use in diet soda and all kinds of other stuff. i heard by a lot of doctors that artificial sweatener can actually make you gain weight

    and surger tastes better anyway, real surger

    but if you really want to diet and be healthy just try to stay away from most products that have surger in it
     
  14. Terumo

    Terumo Orange Belt

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    A little more advanced? At what, exactly, do you look that is beyond my scope? Vibrational energies? Inner chi of the molecule? Okay, I'm just heckling a bit...

    The bottom line is that some people flat-out believe that a personal experience throws out all credibility of scientific data. "It worked for me, ergo it works. End of thread." I'm not saying this is you. I'm not discrediting personal experience. However, the intent of my post was to demonstrate the futility of deeming a substance "natural." That is all.

    Once again, what makes you so "advanced" and "evolved," Chad? I'd love to hear this.
     
  15. Eric O

    Eric O Amateur Fighter

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    Welcome to Cancer 25 years from now.
     
  16. Rjkd12

    Rjkd12 Certified Bastard

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    No, no. He is. I remember him saying before his body tells him whether something is natural or not natural. He drinks diet coke and his body shits the words "what the hell was that?" or something.

    But on a more serious note, Chad I would appreacite it if you could please respond to this one question I have for you. You say if something is not natural, you don't like it and it doesn't work well with your body, yet in a previous thread you take glutamine. The glutamine you take wasn't extracted from whole foods, it was made synthetically, or not natural. What is the difference?
     
  17. Terumo

    Terumo Orange Belt

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    Actually, I deal with cancer everyday. It needs no introduction to me. What is your point?
     
  18. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Perhaps I can mediate a bit here.

    I am scientifically oriented, as those of you who have read my posts here know, but I understand why Eric O and Chad take the position they do. It goes back to a favorite medical anecdote I have mentioned before on here: one that takes a little knowledge of chemistry to appreciate.

    West German scientists in 1957 introduced a drug, Thalidomide, to combat morning sickness during pregnancy. However, they synthesized a right-handed chiral isomer of the drug. A chiral isomer (as of an amino acid) simply indicates the way the molecule orients its structure. As RJKD already noted in another post, the classic example is your hands: your left and right hands, when put together to pray, are identical: mirror images. But they are not truly identical, because on one the thumb is on the right side, on the other, the left side. The same structural diversity is possible in amino acids. Interesting, though, given this possibility, is that only the left-handed forms are found in nature. Now, when the scientists introduced thalidomide, I believe other drugs using right-handed isomers had already been introduced to the medical community, and achieved their desired effect. The incentive to produce this less natural form was because it was cheaper and simpler to manufacture. But with thalidomide, this happened:

    When Thalidomide was taken during pregnancy (particularly during a specific window of time in the first trimester), it caused startling birth malformations, and death to babies. Any part of the foetus that was in development at the time of ingestion could be affected.
    For those babies who survived, birth defects included: deafness, blindness, disfigurement, cleft palate, many other internal disabilities, and of course the disabilities most associated with Thalidomide: phocomelia.


    This is the reason the FDA is so stringent in the USA today, and Europe is (by comparison) making guinea pigs out of their citizens. The advantage is a lot of cutting edge phamaceuticals are available in Europe years- sometimes even a decade- before they are available here. The disadvantage is illustrated above.

    So I understand why people are sometimes distrustful of science; it is the ambition of science to remove subjectivity (and scientists seem to me far more committed to that ideal than the journalists I've known who never stop quacking about it), but this is impossible, or nearly impossible, and science is usually flawed. When it is not flawed, it is incomplete. What science achieves today is a stepping stone to what it will reveal tomorrow; it is the method- the analytical method- that is constant, and in which I believe.

    But science isn't perfect, and that's why I understand, when our knowledge of a subject is vague (which, as I have reviewed it, seems to be the case with artificial sweeteners), I understand the desire to be conservative, and try to maintain the "natural." Because...the natural didn't give us a right-handed thalidomide. It also didn't give us a left-handed thalidomide, which is safe and effective, and it did give us morning sickness...but it didn't give us right-handed thalidomide. I understand the nature of distrust, there.
     
  19. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Also, to bring some perspective to the scientific side of things, EQUAL aka aspartame is nothing more than a compound of the two (left-handed) amino acids phenyalanine and aspartic acid: you get these in your protein, your food, your amino acid supplement...hell, in some sports drinks. That doesn't mean it's necessarily safe. The FDA's approval has been questioned, as by one Dr. Olney from the Washington University School of Medicine, who noted a striking increase in the incidence of malignant brain tumors about three to five years after the introduction of aspartame in the USA. Olney has said, "I'm not saying that aspartame has been proven to cause cancer. I'm saying that there is enough basis to suspect aspartame, that it needs to be reassessed."

    Two much safer artificial sweeteners are Splenda (aka Sucralose) and Acesulfame-K. Really, aside from a few shaky studies indicating these may cause cancer in animals, they've passed with flying colors, and should be considered safe.

    However, if it's not a big deal to you, and there is a purely natural alternative that is less likely and less suspected to cause cancer, such as Stevia, then I think that's the way to go. Keep in mind, many natural plants have less than beneficial effects on the human body, but the bottom line is that Stevia doesn't have a dark cloud labelled "cancer" over the top of it, and the artificial sweeteners do. Maybe this is just because Stevia is new, and unstudied. But it seems less reasonable to suspect it.

    *****

    I do think everyone should keep in mind what are the trade-offs. Sugar may be natural, but high-sugar diets have been linked again and again to obesity, and obesity has been linked as either the primary contributing factor or one of the main contributing factors to something like 6 or 7 of the 10 leading causes of death in the USA (the last I heard...it keeps going up). The artificial sweeteners have been linked (and not strongly) to one.

    For someone like Chad, I could see why sugar is the obvious choice for him, because (even though I've never met or seen him), I understand he was a sprinter at OU, a wrestler in high school, and now a fighter. I'm assuming obesity isn't a concern of his. If he's keeping his diet in check, why risk cancer? And that should be true of every athlete on this board, but I'll be damned if sometimes that 200 calories isn't the difference in a day, especially during cutting, you know? So I go diet myself, usually. But if I was more disciplined, I'd not be drinking soda so often that I'd need to make this choice, or I'd better manage my diet to accomodate the difference.

    But I just think that trade-off should be kept in mind. It's not like sugar's harmless.
     
  20. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Terumo, what do you do? I'm interested to know more about you. In light of this most recent statement, my guess is your a science professor working at a research university, or a doctor.

    Do you train MMA? What is your interest, specifically, in MMA?

    I wish you'd post more often.
     

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