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The Dark Side of Zero-Calorie Sweeteners

Colonel’s Blog, Earthdate 10 May 2023…

Hey Y’all!

Hello and happy Wednesday from Air2Ground Farms! It’s been another warm muggy day with storms in the forecast. The animals are doing really well today but we still don’t have any Guinea keets hatching in the incubator and they should be. We gave the piglets a bigger paddock today. They have had an electric wire in their training pen for 4 days and completely respect it at this point. We took the chainsaw and weed blade down and cleared a path to put up a sheep net and poly-wire for a new paddock. When we got a path cleared, we stretched the sheep net to form a visual barrier. Just inside the sheep net, we drove in rebar and ran poly-wire through insulators. The net and wire combo continues their training. As they approach their perimeter, they see the wire, net, and if they continue they get a shock. We learned two groups ago that this is a critical step in their training. We skipped this step with a batch of hogs and they never really respected the single wire. They often just walked through, breaking the wire. When we take the time to use the intermediate step of the net, they are much better at staying in their area. The group of pics are the piglets, first in their training pen and then in their new area. When we removed two sides of the training pen, they immediately went out and started grazing. Their tails were curled so tight and they couldn’t wag them any harder—both signs they are very happy. I decided that it is time to mow and fertilize the back yard off of the porch. The bottom right pic is the lambs taking care of that chore. The top pic is Shelley with her shiner today. Turns out I was wrong, eyeshadow above her right eye wouldn’t match the purple under her left one. The area around her eye is sore, vision is good, sunglasses are in order for a while. We did mow and weed-eat areas that we can’t put the animals. We also delivered some milk and started getting an area ready for processing the beef chickens.

I’d like to revisit our discussion regarding sugar and discuss the options available to enjoy the taste of sweetness without the negative impacts of sugar we discussed, but first we need to look at insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. When you eat carbohydrates or sugars, your body produces insulin to help move the sugar from your bloodstream into your cells where it can be used for energy. Some studies have suggested that consuming certain zero-calorie sweeteners may also affect insulin production and blood sugar levels. One study published in the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders found that consuming Sucralose, a commonly used zero-calorie sweetener, led to a significant increase in insulin levels in healthy individuals. Another study published in the journal Appetite found that consuming stevia, another zero-calorie sweetener, had no significant effect on insulin levels in healthy adults. The importance of this difference is that repeated significant increases in insulin without a corresponding increase in blood sugar, such as what may happen when consuming sucralose, could potentially have negative impacts on health. This is because when insulin is released in response to a sweet taste, but there is no corresponding increase in blood sugar, the body may become less sensitive to insulin over time. Insulin resistance occurs when the body’s cells become less responsive to the effects of insulin, leading to an accumulation of glucose in the bloodstream. Over time, insulin resistance can lead to a number of health issues, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome. So where does that leave us when we are twitching for that sweet snack after dinner? First, studies are still ongoing and opinions are mixed, but from my research, there are a few zero-calorie sweeteners that cause little to no insulin response. There are a couple of natural options, monk fruit and stevia being the most available. There are also some sugar alcohols: Erythritol, Xylitol, Mannitol, Isomalt, and Maltitol. There is also a lactose-based option, Tagatose. There are sweets that use a variety of these options. There are also no-sugar sweets that are made from aspartame, Ace-K, saccharin, Sucralose, or neotame that have been shown to cause the insulin response we discussed earlier. I expect you are at the place we were as we tried to plot this course. We were those people standing in the aisle of the store staring through our reading glasses at the tiny ingredient lists to figure out what is in stuff. It takes some time to figure out what products have ‘good’ sweeteners and those that have ‘bad’ ones. Interesting, and in my opinion borderline criminal, a lot of the sweets advertised to diabetics as zero-calorie options are made with the sweeteners that have been shown to cause an insulin response without an increase in blood sugar, worsening the condition for the diabetic. Today there are many more acceptable options than there used to be but you must still be aware of the dark side of zero-calorie sweeteners.

Check out our new YouTube Shorts! Shelley made one for Robert to show him how we make paneer cheese.

Local Farm Report for 9 May 2023:


35 Chicken eggs

18 Duck eggs

0 Goose eggs

6 Gallons of milk


Psycho & Shelley

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May 11, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I have been waiting to see when you’d start this discussion on the sweeteners. Now first thing I need to do is buy a pair of those reading glasses (eyes aren’t working as good as they used too) and get to reviewing a few labels to see what’s in what I’d like to consume. Sweets are my Achilles heal! 🤦🏻‍♂️

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Good luck! After a few times checking out the labels, it really gets easier to spot the different sugar options. Also, we have a few brands that we get every time. It makes it where you don't have to think about it each time you grab something.


Auntie Fiat
Auntie Fiat
May 10, 2023

I am going to admit that I spend more time analyzing the oil I put in my vehicles than I do the sweeteners I put in my body.

Thanks for the reminder. Bearings and piston rings are easier to replace than livers and kidneys and brains!

Replying to

Thanks for the comment, Tim! You’re welcome!! Glad you enjoyed the read.

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