Too much sugar can be detrimental to health, rotting teeth, building fat, damaging blood vessels and stressing out the system that regulates blood sugar. Some people turn to artificial sweeteners, but those are under increasing suspicion of creating metabolic problems, such as diabetes and obesity. Natural alternative sweeteners exist, but even they have pitfalls if consumed in excess.
Sweeteners: a periodic table
This table charts the wide variety of sweeteners available in the United States, either in bulk amounts or as additives in food. Not listed are super-sweet- tasting, zero-calorie proteins from several African fruits (monellin, brazzein and thaumatin), which have not been approved for use by the FDA. Also not included: banned or poisonous sweeteners, such as lead acetate, which ancient Romans made by cooking sour wine in lead pots.
A recent study found thatSaccharin, Sucralose and Aspartame can upset the balance of intestinal flora, causing glucose intolerance in mice and in some humans tested.