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Courtney Riddle
11/4 Discussion
Fri Nov 4, 2011 1:04pm
150.216.173.80

For the argument paper, I’m considering writing about artificial sweeteners. The issue is if they’re healthier than natural sweeteners, and my argument is that they’re not. Artificial sweeteners are used to make beverages and foods “low calorie,” most commonly in soft drinks. Although these artificial sweeteners have almost no calories, once digested, certain sweeteners can become harmful to the human body if in excess. There are five artificial sweeteners approved by the FDA, one of them is aspartame. Once digested, aspartame is converted into methanol, aspartic acid, and phenylalanine. Large amounts of phenylalanine in the blood stream can cause brain damage. I had always heard that synthetic sugars can actually be worse for you than regular sugars, if you’re not eating sugar in large doses, but I had never looked it up or done any research on it. During some of my research, I found that the FDA, even though it allows certain artificial sweeteners to be used, they test on animals, and certain damages found to animals from the sugars, are not considered a danger to humans because of the difference in body chemistry or simply because of the amount digested. That makes me wonder what types of things happened to the animals that were written off as not applicable to humans. Also, the FDA has certain recommended doses for all sweeteners that are perfectly safe for ingestion, however, how many times have you heard the recommended doses for those? Not many people give artificial sweeteners much thought, other than the fact that they’re low calorie, so they’re not eating as unhealthy as they were. However there have been tests conducted that a lot of people eat low calorie foods with artificial sweeteners in an attempt to lose weight. Some of them, feel full and eat less as a result, however some, tend to overindulge because they think they weren’t consuming as much sugar. For instance, a woman who had a low calorie drink earlier that day, may eat a piece of chocolate cake because it was low calorie right? Calories shouldn’t be the only thing considered when consuming sweetened food, but because of the little knowledge about it, they don’t tend to think about the amount of sugar, just the amount of calories.

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