Something on additives: the artificial sweeteners
How much do we know about food additives? Probably we’ve just barely heard about that term, but never actually went down researching about it. And there are a lot of things you can discover if you do that.
One of them is that the current food industry makes extensive use of refined sugar, which plays the role of enhancer of taste and palatability. But is that really good for your health? Let’s think a bit about the implications.
This often-unconditional use has caused an increase in pathologies related precisely to its excessive intake, with the consequence of having led many people to look at sugar critically.
Faced with this “mutiny”, the food industry has had to develop a viable alternative to add to its products, in order to keep them appealing as much as they were before. And here appear artificial sweeteners.
Aspartame, neotame, acesulfame, saccharin: we find them on the back of the packages of so-called ʺlightʺ or “sugar-free” foods and drinks and these are artificial sweeteners, characterized by a sweetener power far greater than sucrose (even more than 300 times), and therefore used in smaller quantities. These unnatural compounds possess the ability to forcibly stimulate hunger, thus obtaining the opposite result to that for which consumers choose them (i.e. do not gain weight): sweeteners in fact stimulate the production of insulin, thus deluding the body that sugar is coming, but since this does not arrive, the organism begins to demand what has been ʺpromisedʺ thus triggering the sense of hunger.
Other, much more serious side effects are also reported: first of all, their alleged carcinogenicity. EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has intervened in this regard stating that it has not found scientific evidence demonstrating the danger of sweeteners, but their safety profile remains questionable. Suffice it to say that they are not freely and equally used in all states.