I'll try to explain about the Glycemic Index (GI) as I feel like I'm starting to become an expert!
It's basically an index of foods where food is given a rating. The rating stands for how quickly the food makes your blood sugar rise. A rating of over about 70 is high, or quick acting. Some sugars are around 100, mashed potato is around 95, rice cakes are also very high, cornflakes are high, surprisingly melon is also in the 90s....55 to 70 (or thereabouts) are moderates. Your blood sugar will rise a bit more slowly than high. Then, below 55 is low which is what we want to mostly aim for (it raises your blood sugar more slowly and keeps it more level). Foods here are lentils, beans, some fruits such as cherries and apples, oat based foods etc. Meat, salad etc is 0 so has no affect. If you really want to eat a high GI food such as a baked potato, team it with a low GI food such as baked beans. This will make it a moderate affect on your blood sugar. You can look on the net or buy a book which shows you food values - I have a book that has a huge list of food and I find it very useful. I am so surprised sometimes at some food - a mars bar is 55 on the rating so is quite low, but as it contains so much sugar it's still probably not the best thing to eat. Parsnips are also very high - in the 90s! It can be very baffling at first, but I have found it really has helped my blood sugars. Fat in foods seems to bring down the GI of foods, but we obviously want a healthy diet so it's not best to eat a lot of fatty foods! And fat-free products seem to pack in a lot of sugar (such as fat-free yoghurts, unless they use sweeteners) so you just have to be aware when you make your choices.
I've also heard a lot about how bad aspartame is, and it seems to be in so many things I buy from diet drinks (including sparkling water) to yoghurts. I've actually heard that it can cause problems with your brain, and that the verdict is still out on splenda. Someone on this forum has suggested using stevia but I've never tried this.
I hope this helps and isn't too confusing!
That's scary stuff - I put in a post in this forum about my memory and what I have experienced is exactly described on the link you put in!! I've heard a lot of diabetics feel the same, but maybe it's because most diabetics use aspartame! I am drinking a cold tea type drink I bought today, thinking it's better than diet coke. Guess what, it contains aspartame!
I have also experienced other symptoms - no more of that for me!!
Thank you all for your input.
#1- Where to purchase Stevia for tea/coffee?
#2- What, then, would one use as a sweetener on cereal, such as Bran?
To date, FDA has not determined any consistent pattern of symptoms that can be attributed to the use of aspartame, nor is the agency aware of any recent studies that clearly show safety problems.
Our research revealed over 6000 web sites that mention aspartame, with many hundreds alleging aspartame to be the cause of multiple sclerosis, lupus erythematosis, Gulf War Syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, brain tumours, and diabetes mellitus, among many others. Virtually all of the information offered is anecdotal, from anonymous sources and is scientifically implausible.
Health scare artists have found a whole new medium for terrorizing the public — the Internet. Individuals in search of accurate health information may literally become caught in the Web, where health hoaxes and urban medical myths run rampant. The health scare messages are always the same — whatever it is, it will make you sick.
A highly inaccurate "chain letter" is being circulated via e-mail warning the reader of the health dangers of aspartame (Nutrasweet) diet drinks. There is so much scientific untruth in it, it’s scary. Be careful, because others know how to manipulate you by this. Just because something is beyond your comprehension doesn’t mean it is scientific.
Analysis of the National Cancer Institute's public data base on cancer incidence in the United States — the SEER Program — does not support an association between the use of aspartame and increased incidence of brain tumors.
Even daily large doses of the high-intensity sweetener aspartame, also known as NutraSweet, had no adverse effect on study subjects' health and well-being, a visiting scientist at MIT reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition last week. "We conclude that aspartame is safe for the general population," said Paul A. Spiers, visiting scientist in the Clinical Research Center (CRC).
A widely disseminated e-mail by a "Nancy Markle" links aspartame to Alzheimer's, birth defects, brain cancer, diabetes, Gulf War syndrome, lupus, multiple sclerosis and seizures. Right away, the long list warrants skepticism. Just as no single chemical cures everything, none causes everything.
So who's correct??? It's insideous because this stuff is in most everything that is "sugar free". But my motto is "everything in moderation". My mom used to tell me about going to parties "Taste everything and eat nothing and at the end of the night you've had a full meal". Well I think that applies to stuff with aspartame. Personally, I try to avoid it, but will I give up my sugar free ice cream because it's sweetened with aspertame??? Not on your life!!!! Will I put equal or splenda in my coffee? For the time being I'll use stevia. In the long run, all this stuff will probably kill you, but the REAL question is
"Will it kill you as quickly as if you used real sugar?"
Good luck Robert, it sounds like you are doing a perfect job with your sugar levels!
With regards to the aspartame, the only way I can be sure myself about it is to cut it out of my diet for a few weeks and see if any problems I'm having clear up. There are so many scare stories around, it's difficult to not believe some of them!