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April 22, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 4 Faves: 0

Added Sugars and Artificial Sweeteners

By Jessica Corwin MPH RDN More Blogs by This Author

After several great discussions as a result of my recent blog and interview on the topic of the dairy industry’s proposed measure to offer a "diet" chocolate milk through the addition of artificial sweeteners, I felt compelled to include a bit more information.

As I’m sure you are well aware, all types of sugars should be limited in our diet, particularly those being added to our diet and those that are man-made. Women should limit added sugars to a mere 6 teaspoons (24 grams) of added sugars while men are encouraged to limit theirs to nine teaspoons (36 grams).

While the general consensus may not include the zero-calorie sugars within the nutritive sugars, I do. Which means we should include all types of sweeteners, whether dried cane juice, honey, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, or stevia, all should be included in the 6-9 teaspoon recommendation.

And when it comes to artificial sweeteners, they certainly come with pros and cons in regards to our health. While the evidence base has yet been able to disprove their safety, I do encourage they be limited.

Less is more.

And to bring this post full circle back to the dairy industry’s proposal, chocolate milk should be a treat. It includes added sugar and added calories, yet it does NOT provide us with any added nutrition. A single sweetened beverage will easily put us over our added sugar limit.

So, if you choose to have a single serving of chocolate milk or soda now and again, while it is not healthy nor recommended, life is short. Savor your sweet treat and consider it just that – a treat and something to only be enjoyed now and again. And because it is a treat, you will be limiting the added calories, making weight gain or insulin resistance a negligible issue.

My advice? Savor your treat with those tasty au natural sugars we all enjoy. Why go for the diet version until we learn more about its safety? I’m not too excited about being anyone’s lab rat, though I’m human, and have certainly consumed a diet root beer in my day…

Just my two cents.

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  • I love a glass of chocolate milk now and again! It used to crack me up when you made your own from white milk using Hershey's syrup, it would take soooo much chocolate to change the milk as brown as the store bought version.

  • With so many things to avoid is nice to have someone explain sugars in detail. Awesome.

  • I remember doing the same, Nancy. And definitely as a kid, I'm sure I just kept pouring...and pouring... and pouring... :)

  • Very nice to hear that, Christine. Thanks!

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