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Type 2 Diabetes

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A New Sweetener on the Shelf

By | January 23rd, 2015|Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes|

I recently read about FDA Approval for a “NEW” sugar substitute…Advantame. Interesting name – it would appear the creators believe there is an “advantage” to using it. The positive for people with diabetes of course, is that it doesn’t cause a glycemic response. Similar to the other sugar substitutes already on the market in a plethora of foods and beverages, Advantame is an artificial sweetener developed by the Japanese food and chemical corporation, Ajinomoto. Advantame is about 20,000 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar). The FDA has approved it for general use in foods and beverages. This new artificial sweetener is also FEMA GRAS approved in Dairy, Frozen Desserts, Beverages, and Chewing Gum, but isn’t approved for use in products with meat or poultry. This is the 6th sweetener to be approved by the FDA and is a white powder derived from aspartame and vanillin that dissolves in water, and continues to remain stable in high temperatures (unlike pure aspartame which breaks down and doesn’t provide the taste appeal in baked products). Advantame's structure is chemically similar to aspartame, and it was assumed a warning label notifying people with phenylketonuria (PKU) to the presence of phenylalanine was required, but after further evaluation the agency determined that, since advantame is approximately 100 times sweeter than aspartame and requires only a fraction of the amount to achieve the same degree of sweetness, no warning label is necessary. This fact alone should make one consider the nature of the word artificial. We tend to rely heavily on products with no sugar when living with diabetes – but how much is too much and should we be considering these alternatives as good, bad or ugly? Looking at each artificial [...]