As of this week, I walk past 23 of these ads on my way to work:
Twenty three in a row is a lot so after I got over my initial reaction of “bleugh – another ad for low fat yogurt”, I read the small text.
In case it’s not very readable, it says “0% added sugar** / **Contains naturally occurring sugars.”
Naturally occurring sugars – I needed to see what those are.
Turns out they are acesulfame K and sucralose:
I’m not sure how Danone missed the memo but neither of these is actually a naturally occurring sugar – both sucralose and acesulfame K are artificial sweeteners.
The ads are therefore totally wrong (!) but if Danone would say that the yogurt is sweetened with sucralose – a calorie free sweetener – would people have a problem with it?
Sucralose seems to be having a total party right now. Ever since sugar became evil (although it actually IS a naturally occurring sugar) and aspartame was proven to cause cancer, sucralose is all over the place – and I think just because not enough studies have been conducted yet on its safety.
Sucralose is especially abundant in ‘health’ foods. For example, most of Myprotein’s sweet products are sweetened with sucralose and Protein Haus shakes that I quite like use protein powder that is sweetened with sucralose.
Even though officially the jury is still out on the safety of sucralose, a Duke university study showed that it messed up the gut microbes in mice AND made them gain weight despite the fact that it has no calories.
I know mice are not humans, but if we’re striving to eat real, natural food then does sucralose belong in our diets?
Do we know enough about it?
Doesn’t the fact that it’s been made in a lab set off a few alarm bells?
I do like those shakes Protein Haus makes but for the most part I try to make sure I do not consume a lot of sucralose.
If you want to avoid artificial sweeteners, here are my tips:
- Buy unsweetened protein powder (I buy egg white powder from Myprotein and vegan protein powder from Sunwarrior).
- Sweeten you shakes with bananas, dates, honey or xylitol (stevia’s good too but I find its aftertaste weird).
- Buy plain Greek yoghurt instead of this Light&Free type of &^$%£ and sweeten with honey or fruit.
Thoughts? Do you check the ingredients of your protein powder and/or health food (bars, snacks, etc.)? Are you bothered by sucralose?