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to think that sugar is the lesser of two evils when it comes to the sugar/sweetener debate?

(60 Posts)
BegoniaBampot Tue 16-Apr-13 13:51:56

try not to give my kids too much sugary drinks but usually go for the full sugar ones over diet or no added sugar as I worry more about aspartame etc over some sugar.

really just more curious as to what others think is the lesser of the two evils and what would you choose?

WilsonFrickett Tue 16-Apr-13 13:54:41

I think natural trumps synthetic generally. So I worry less about sugar, and I've just switched back to butter. But I guess if you drank 2 litres of fizzy drink a day, that amount of sugar would be a massive problem iyswim? If it's in moderation, then a little bit of sugar isn't going to hurt.

MDA Tue 16-Apr-13 13:56:31

It depends if you are sensitive to sweeteners or not. My children are not. They are however prone to being a bit chunky. So when its not water or milk they are drinking, I don't have an issue with them having sugar free squash, whereas if they were drinking lots of apple juice for instance, it may have an effect on their weight.

Bear in mind both of mine have slimmed down from very chunky babies to healthy sized schoolchildren. But not without me keeping a subtle and silent eye on what their calorie intake is. I'm not talking dieting them or anything like that...but if they are going to have a sugar hit, I'm sure they'd rather have some chocolate or Haribo than a glass of Apple Juice. Not that I discuss it with them but I am there silently keeping half an eye out in the background.

If your kids weren't 10 pounds when they were born and 15 pounds at 6 weeks old etc and following the 99th centile, however, this would unlikely be a factor in your choice.

choceyes Tue 16-Apr-13 13:57:04

and a little bit of aspartme is not going to hurt either.

I'd choose neither tbh.

MakeHayNotStraw Tue 16-Apr-13 13:58:37

I avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague, especially aspartame. It is the one thing I am precious about when it comes to my children - there are too many adverse health reactions associated with sweeteners, and aspartame is banned in many countries, I believe. We have no sugar free anything in our house (and if I could persuade DH to stop eating margarine I'd be even happier!).

tiggytape Tue 16-Apr-13 14:01:59

I avoid aspartame and reduced fat foods etc for the children. Not because I am a health guru of any kind but just because of a nagging feeling that it must be better to eat smaller amounts of 'real' foods than potentially larger quantities of synthetic things.
I haven't read endless studies on it or anything but I've never bought reduced sugar versions of things even when they were small.

StanleyLambchop Tue 16-Apr-13 14:04:45

and a little bit of aspartme is not going to hurt either.

Depends on the child. I have seen my DD react really badly to it. We just cut it out altogether now. I take my chances with sugar.

BegoniaBampot Tue 16-Apr-13 14:05:06

I just wonder if sweeteners/aspartame has been blown all out of proportion in regards to risks etc.

HerBigChance Tue 16-Apr-13 14:05:37

I think sugar must be better than sweeteners, although I finally managed to give up sugar in drinks last year.

I've ditched low-fat foods and gone back to butter too. Low fat stuff usually has lots of extra sugar in it.

JollyPurpleGiant Tue 16-Apr-13 14:07:31

We don't have aspartame in our house. DS, 24mo only drinks water or milk anyway.

I don't buy low fat food either. Although we do have marg. That's the only 'bad' thing we have regularly.

choceyes Tue 16-Apr-13 14:08:17

Was interested in the affects of aspartme (I'm a scientist) and just looked it up and found this on Wiki...
On January 8, 2013, the EFSA released its draft report, which found that aspartame and its metabolites "pose no toxicity concern for consumers at current levels of exposure. The current Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) is considered to be safe for the general population and consumer exposure to aspartame is below this ADI."[54][58]

BegoniaBampot Tue 16-Apr-13 14:08:50

tiggytape - i feel similar to you. it's a bit of a faith call and what you feel more comfortable with though just wish the true dangers if any could be more proven.

Stanley - I was thinking more of the perceived long term risks. Can understand your thinking if you can see your child reacting negatively. never experienced that myself.

JollyPurpleGiant Tue 16-Apr-13 14:09:35

I went blind over the course of a weekend when I was 8 and doctors suggested aspartame could be to blame. You can see why I avoid it! (My sight came back after I was given steroids to take down the swelling in my optic nerves).

formicaqueen Tue 16-Apr-13 14:10:54

They are both crap. I use natural Xlitol if I need to cook a cake or make hot chocolate.

The fake is full of chemicals. Sugar is related to high blood sugar levels, tooth decay, heart disease, some cancers, fat, yeast infections and so on.

JazzDalek Tue 16-Apr-13 14:11:37

I'm not a fan of sugar, but allow it in moderation. I do not allow artificial sweeteners for my children (exception made for parties - I'm not about to hover like a hawk and swipe squash out of their hands grin )

I always buy real butter, too. I think low-fat is a con.

Latara Tue 16-Apr-13 14:13:15

formica what is Xlitol, & where can i buy it please?

CarpeVinum Tue 16-Apr-13 14:13:33

I hate that sweetner stuff.

I ate a packet of sugar free mints once and within hours the world fell out of my bottom.

I felt so rough.

Have studiously avoided it since. Maybe it doesn't do that to people anymore, but I am not up for further experimentation.

ophelia275 Tue 16-Apr-13 14:14:10

I disagree. There are sugars like sucralose, xylitol and sugar alcohols which do not rot teeth, affect blood sugar etc which have not been proved to be dangerous like saccharin or aspartame. Besides, most things in moderation are ok.

ophelia275 Tue 16-Apr-13 14:14:32

Meant to say "sugar derivatives".

MyDarlingClementine Tue 16-Apr-13 14:14:42

You went blind!!! Oh my goodness.

Any one else know what Asp comes in apart from coke and things?

I think natural is better but getting sugars from things like maple syrup and and honey surely are better still.

I reckon in a few years all sugars and companies involved with sugars will be regulated in some way/ like drugs and alcohol due to obesity crisis.

ophelia275 Tue 16-Apr-13 14:15:30

Also stevia is totally natural (although I think it tastes like shit) but does not do the damage that sugar does (to teeth or blood/insulin).

choceyes Tue 16-Apr-13 14:15:49

Depends on the child. I have seen my DD react really badly to it. We just cut it out altogether now. I take my chances with sugar.

well studies show that it doesnt affect humans in small doses. How do you know that it was the aspartme that caused it?

Just because something is natural, doesn't mean it's safer. There are natural poisons after all.

I'm not defending aspartme, just playing devils advocate smile

BegoniaBampot Tue 16-Apr-13 14:16:04

is Lurpak real butter? my 7 yr old turns his nose up at anything else.

JollyPurpleGiant Tue 16-Apr-13 14:18:49

Aspartame is mainly in drinks, but a few other things too.

Most diet drinks
most Lemonade
Fanta
Fruit squashes (Robinsons and lots of own brands)
Low sugar Angel delight
Low sugar Jelly
Chewing gum

If something contains aspartame it will say in the ingredients, it will also say "contains a source of phenylalanine" somewhere on the pack.

BegoniaBampot Tue 16-Apr-13 14:20:31

ophelia - 'which have not been proved to be dangerous like saccharin or aspartame.'

but has it been proven, many scientific reports say it is safe. or is all just opinions. just wish it was clear cut rather than all the scare mongering.

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