I've had trouble with what to say about this topic, and I've procrastinated posting it (gasp)! So, I'm just going to show you what I've found and maybe some of you will have some insight.
When I wanted to try Stevia, my friend Deborah said "Make sure you buy a brand with only Stevia and no other stuff; it's hard to find." So, I found Sweetleaf, which meets that qualification. However, in my search, I found a disturbing trend: most of our artificial sweeteners are NOT primarily what we expect. For instance, Splenda is Sucralose, Equal is Aspartame, Sweet'n'Low is Saccharine, Stevia is Stevia. But in the vast majority of packages on my grocery shelves, these are NOT the first ingredients! The first ingredients are things like Dextrose, Maltodextrin, Erythritol. What are these "primary" ingredients? SUGAR!
- Dextrose is a form of glucose, and both are "simple" sugars (monosaccharide) processed from plants.
- Maltodextrin is a "complex" sugar (polysaccharide) also processed from plants.
- Erythritol is a sugar "alcohol" which is also processed from plants.
So, what is the main ingredient in most of our artificial, zero-calorie sweeteners? SUGAR!
Now what do we do? If I hadn't already been concerned about my intake of artificial sweetener, I would be now! I'm trying to reduce my sugar intake by using Splenda, which is mostly sugar! Yikes!
I'd love to give some excellent scientific or philosophical statement about this issue, but frankly I'm stunned into silence. Ideas from you? Are you surprised? What is your experience with this?