Not long ago, my Papi and I were gearing up to pop in a DVD and enjoy some classic father-son bonding time via Hollywood violence. He required that popcorn be a part of our experience and asked me if I would eat some. I told him that I would eat some kettle corn, one of my personal favorite edibles. After helping him navigate the complexities of the technological conundrum known as Red Box, he dropped me off before heading to the grocery to apprehend the other half of our night’s event, the popped corn of the kettle variety. Remarkably, the kettle corn was on point and rounded out the father son occasion in glorious fashion. Like the generous father he is, Kash Dad let me take the rest of the kettle corn cache home with me, and I was delighted as I enjoyed its deliciousness for several subsequent nights while reflecting on our paternal bond.
When the sweet and salty corn supply ran bare, I grew distressed by my cravings for more. I was hooked on its powerful flavor and yearned for more popped kettle maize, so I placed an order with my personal grocery service. Then delivered, I threw a bag into the magic heating machine, and bode my time as electromagnetic radiation exploded the kernels into their snackable form. After firing up the interwebs to renew my ritual of Netflix and kettle corn, I began to devour bits from the bowl when my senses raised alarms that something was dreadfully wrong. The kettle corn did not taste like it did before, a pure heavenly goodness. It was off, way off. First my tastebuds and then my whole being rejected this monstrosity that I continued to sample in disbelief. What is this dark sorcery? How could anyone refer to this bizarre evilness as food, let alone the amazingness that is kettle corn? I rushed to examine the packaging and found the culprit among the ingredients list: the artificial sweetener sucralose! My culinary nemesis! A vile abomination! I despise fake sugar and am bewildered at how anyone could enjoy such a distasteful thing.
In an effort to reduce sugar intake, a noble endeavor recommended by health officials and anti-obesity movements, the malevolent corporations have opted to utilize chemically synthesized low-calorie nastiness to sweeten products instead of just, you know, USING LESS SUGAR. Many times have my roommate and I been duped by such marketing stating something like ‘Reduced sugar’ into purchasing a product we hoped would be a healthier less sweet, less caloric alternative to the usual. We were disturbed to discover that it contained a nefarious zero calorie and grotesquely irregular sweet artificial sugar alternative.
Admittedly, these artificial atrocities have been enjoyed by many people for quite some time and are common ingredients in many products such as diet soda and other drinks as well as candy and desserts. Why do I detest them you might ask? My main reason is their gross abnormal and funky taste. It truly disgusts me and causes foods to be practically inedible. Furthermore, I cannot fathom that a man made ultra sweet substance with next to zero calories could be healthy despite being approved by the FDA. And there is evidence to back it up. Artificial sweeteners and non-caloric natural sweeteners including stevia still trigger the brain’s sweetness receptors causing the body to prepare itself for the caloric intake that comes from sugar. Insulin is released but when that sugar doesn’t come, your metabolism still expects the calories and it causes you to crave which results in more eating. Thus, those who ingest sugar-free sweeteners tend to eat more calories overall. On top of that undesirable and rarely known consequence, fake sugars tend to promote certain fat storing gut bacteria and thereby encourage overeating and obesity. I am vexed by why anyone would reach for these foul products, and I hope this knowledge helps you to think twice when trying to cheat your way out calories with artificial sweetener.
Here are the ingredients to look for that are artificial sweeteners approved by the FDA:
- Acesulfame potassium(or K)
Remember that it’s allowable to market products with artificial sweetener as natural, even though they are anything but. Also, the FDA does not require food manufacturers to clearly mark the use of artificial sweeteners. Beware of the labeling: smart, lite, reduced sugar or sugar free. Watch out because they are sneaking this evil into all kinds of products nowadays including condiments, cereals and breads, and even outrageously corrupting our snacks like my beloved kettle corn!