Know the Types of Artificial Sweeteners and Their Impact on Health
Starting from the many diseases that arise due to excess sugar intake, artificial sweeteners are made as an alternative to sugar. Although containing fewer calories, but this artificial sweetener also has the potential to cause adverse effects on health, especially if consumed in excess.
Artificial sweeteners are substitutes for sugar produced through chemical processes. Artificial sweeteners are considered to have a higher sweetness than ordinary sweeteners or sugar.
Various Types of Artificial Sweeteners
There are several types of artificial sweeteners that are often used in food and beverage products, namely:
Aspartame is commonly used as a sweetener in chewing gum, breakfast cereals, gelatin and carbonated drinks. This artificial sweetener is 220 times sweeter than sugar. The content of aspartame consists of amino acids, aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and a little ethanol.
The sweetness produced by saccharin reaches 300-400 times stronger than sugar. The use of saccharine in one presentation for processed foods must not exceed 30 mg. As for drinks, it should not be more than 4 mg / 10 ml of liquid.
Sucralose is produced from sucrose which has a sweet taste 600 times stronger than sugar. This material is commonly used in food products that are baked or fried. The ideal daily consumption of sucralose is as much as 5 mg / kg body weight.
This material is very stable in high temperatures and easy to dissolve, so it is suitable for use in many food products. The recommended daily consumption limit for acesulfame potassium is 15 mg / kg body weight.
This artificial sweetener is widely used in low-calorie foods. Chemically, the ingredients are almost the same as aspartame, but it tastes 40 times sweeter than aspartame. Compared to refined sugar, neotam sweetness levels reach 8,000 times higher. Neotam can be consumed up to 18mg / kg body weight a day.
Impact of Artificial Sweeteners on Health
In general, artificial sweeteners are relatively safe for consumption, as long as they do not exceed the intake limit per day. However, there are allegations that artificial sweeteners can cause some side effects in some people.
The use of saccharin in the long term is feared to trigger cancer. In addition, the use of aspartame can also cause allergic reactions in some people, characterized by headaches, difficulty breathing, skin rashes, and diarrhea.
Not only saccharine and aspartame, other artificial sweeteners are also thought to cause some side effects, such as increasing the risk of kidney disease, diabetes, and cavities. However, all these side effects have not been proven, so it still needs further investigation.
There are certain conditions that are not allowed to consume artificial sweeteners, namely phenylketonuria. This rare genetic disorder makes the sufferer’s body unable to break down phenylalanine. This substance is found in some artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and neotam.
Artificial sweeteners should be consumed in a limited way to avoid the bad effects. If you have special health conditions, consult with your doctor about the rules and safe limits for using artificial sweeteners. Likewise with children and pregnant women, you should consult with your doctor before using artificial sweeteners.