You don’t have to be a Spanish student to know that this column concerns the artificial sweetener in the yellow packet. A bunch of them were brought to my table with a cup of coffee after lunch one day last winter in Medellín, Colombia. I didn’t use it, however, because I travel with my own little bottle of pure liquid sucralose, the chemical name for a “non-nutritive sweetener” identified with the commercial product Splenda.
What made this particular packet interesting to me was some information in the small print (in Spanish) that is not shown on otherwise identical packets in the U. S.: the percentages of each of the three ingredients, dextrose, maltodextrin, and sucralose, in order by weight, named on both the U. S. and Colombian products.
Just in case you didn’t know, dextrose and maltodextrin are just chemical names for compounds of the glucose molecule. Dextrose is the naturally occurring D-form of the monosaccharide glucose. Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide. That means it is a compound of between 3 and 17 attached glucose molecules. So, just to be absolutely clear, the two major ingredients of Splenda are both glucose.
But we already knew this. What’s new to me is that the Splenda packets in Colombia actually give the percent by weight of each ingredient: dextrose 95.8%, maltodextrin 3.0% and sucralose 1.2%. Wow, you say. That sucralose stuff must be a pretty powerful sweetener! Well, it is. But I say, wow, Splenda is almost 99%, glucose, the very thing that people who are trying to control their blood sugar should be trying to avoid!
So, now that you know, will you do anything differently? Will you carry a small bottle of liquid sucralose in your purse or pocket? I hope some of you will. I also hope that the others, who won’t, will at least know that you can’t trust anyone, who is invested in selling you something, to tell you the truth. We don’t sell anything on this site except an idea…the idea that good nutrition for type 2 diabetics means avoiding, as much as possible, eating carbohydrates, including glucose. And to do that, you must know where the carbs are.
With this in mind, I wrote a 16-page pamphlet in English, and a folleto en español, that describes, with a 20-part Q & A section, my personal transformation from drug-dependent type 2 diabetic to an almost drug-free type 2, in complete remission (A1c=5.1%). In the course of this transformation I lost 170 pounds and turned around a slew of blood markers including blood pressure, cholesterol, and inflammation. After my HDL-C doubled and my TGL dropped by two-thirds, my doctor took me off the statin drug that I took before I began to eat Very Low Carbohydrate (VLC). Did I mention this Very Low Carb way of eating transformed my health?
I wrote the “folleto en español” with the help of a professor in Bogotá who I also had to educate in this Way of Eating. As in so many countries, public health authorities in Colombia, and the compliant population, have followed the lead of the United States. Our governments have enlisted the population-at-large in a huge, catastrophic, failed public health experiment based solely on epidemiological evidence because, in the words of Senator McGovern, chairman of the 1977 U. S. Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, “Senators don't have the luxury the research scientist does of waiting until every last shred of evidence is in.”
As Jeff Ritterman, MD, says in this truly excellent 2015 Truthout article, “Senator McGovern's comment concerning ‘every last shred of evidence’ was widely off the mark. It was never a question of having supportive, but incomplete, evidence. There simply was no convincing scientific evidence at all in support of the commission's recommendations. There still isn't.” And there was and is lots of evidence to the contrary!The next column will explore another product, one that is being sold as “balanced nutrition for every day health.” If you’re not careful, you might conclude this too is “ideal for all the family.” That product is “Ensure, Original,” sold as a “meal replacement,” and available in grocery stores everywhere. Caveat emptor!!!