The complete name is acesulfame potassium, thus, the artificial sweetener is also called acesulfame K or ace K (K being the symbol for potassium). You may have encountered it as the brand names Sweet One or Sunett.
Acesulfame is non-saccharide which means it is neither a form of sugar compound nor a derivative of sucrose. It is in terms of chemical structure a potassium salt. The manufacturing process involves transforming acetoacetic acid and combining it with potassium. Its degree of sweetness is similar to aspartame, around 200 times that of ordinary table sugar.
Just like all the other artificial sweeteners discussed in the Superhuman Food Pyramid, acesulfame suffers the same setbacks of being non-nutritive, is commonly used in empty-calorie commercial food and drinks, and has potential health risks.
Continue reading about the possible negative effects of acesulfame to know why it can’t help you in your quest to Become Superhuman.
Acesulfame Health Risks
Organizations against the official acceptance and general use of acesulfame, such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest, base their contention on the questionable quality of the safety tests done for this artificial sweetener. Among some of the flaws pointed out, it seemed that the studies were not able to prove beyond any doubt the absence of possible carcinogenic effects in a long-term framework.
The no-calories claim for acesulfame is due to the fact that the sweetener is not completely absorbed by the body. Whatever components are taken in and metabolized are said to be immediately excreted. Thus the sweetener does not produce any significant caloric impact or affect blood glucose levels.
The detail to note about these safety studies is that they don’t state that acesulfame is consistently passed through every time it is ingested. They just mention an approximation of 85-100%. Given that each person’s metabolism is unique in capacity, certain individuals may still break down and absorb a portion of the sweetener’s components. Acetoacetamide for example is one of the substances that acesulfame can decompose into. In the animal studies done for this sweetener, this substance was shown to affect the thyroid glands of the test animals.
One of the ingredients used in the production of acesulfame you need to be wary of is methylene chloride. It is not a chemical component of acesulfame itself but it can be a contaminant as it is used as a solvent in the early stages of making the sweetener. This compound is used as a paint stripper among other things. In the food industry it is sometimes used to decaffeinate coffee. It is known to be carcinogenic.
A preference for sweetness is understandable. But is it really necessary to go to great lengths such as inventing artificial chemicals just to satisfy a craving for sweetness and sidestep the guilt of calories? There are far healthier and natural ways to get sugar. As for the calories, they shouldn’t be a danger as long as you burn them up in productive work and exercise.
In the next post, I’ll tell you about the negative effects of MSG and why you should avoid it to succeed in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the herbs, spices and sweeteners on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the negative effects of acesulfame, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the negative effects of acesulfame.