While it’s not good to eat sweet stuff ALL the time, we know yer gunna. So, I talk about a few different sweeteners and whether they’re good for you or not. It seems like aspartame is problematic. It can cause brain tumors, and at least brain damage! It breaks down into phenylalanine (not so bad), apartic acid which is a neurotoxin, and methanol which is a GENERAL toxin. The cutoff is 40 mg/kg body weight, but that is a general cutoff and it’s possible that it could cause damage in doses lower than that. Sucralose (the active ingredient in Splenda) doesn’t appear to be as potentially toxic as aspartame. It also hasn’t been on the market as long. We can assume there’s at least going to be digestive issues since it can’t be absorbed. Then on to stevia, which is MUCH better for you and may actually have some blood sugar regulating properties. There are some studies that show that it’s effective against Lyme disease spirochetes! The down side is some preparations have a bitter aftertaste, but I find that it depends on what it’s in. I also discuss erythritol, the sugar alcohol that’s least likely to give you GI upset because it IS absorbed and excreted in the urine. None of these non-sugars taste exactly like sugar, so let’s talk about some interesting sugars! First of all, white sugar is bleached with chemicals and has all the nutrition taken out, so all you get is stuff that can cause you to gain weight and eventually give you diabetes and high cholesterol. ALL true sugars in quantity have that potential, but some in moderation are more natural and actually have some nutrition. We talked about evaporated cane juice (Sucanat/Rapadura), muscovado, piloncilo, demerara, and turbinado, all having varying degrees of molasses, fluid and nutrition, and all varying in earthiness, so you have to experiment with various recipes for best flavor. Then, there’s my favorite caloric sweetener, coconut sugar. It’s really evaporated coconut palm sap, so still contains nutrition, and has a starch called inulin, a prebiotic that’s good for your gut flora. It’s lower calorie and raises your blood sugar less. Last for today was YACON, a tuber from South America. They make a syrup out of it, and it really has a lot of health benefits, like anti-cancer, immune boosting, appetite suppressing, weight loss, and lowering cholesterol. Watch this space for more info on sweet stuff!