You may have noticed there is a new sweetener on the market: Nectresse. I loved the name when I first heard it – it reminded me of Nectarines…an obviously natural, healthful food. Clearly, some darn good marketers are on this brand. But, if you do some minor digging, you’ll learn that Nectresse is manufactured by the same company that manufactures Splenda – McNeil Nutritionals. And if you know anything about McNeil Nutritionals, it is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson – by no means a small, all-natural food company.
Nectresse, however, is touted as a “100% natural no calorie sweetener” that is a “combination of deliciously sweet Monk Fruit Extract blended with other natural sweeteners (erythritol, sugar and molasses) to bring you the rich sweet taste of sugar without all the calories.”
Although the claims sound good, I once again am going to have to say, “No, thank you.” Here’s why:
- Natural: The term “natural” is so overused today. In actuality, there are no regulations around the term “natural” and as a result, what may be called “natural” is questionable at best. If you are looking for foods that are seriously “natural,” I’d urge you to instead focus on the term “whole food.” And, ask yourself these questions: Are you going to find this product in nature…by itself…without any human interference? No. Can you go out and cultivate it on your own? No. Was the food’s name commonly understood and recognizable for centuries, or were clever marketers’ minds at work creating an innovative and attractive name? As soon as a food product is manufactured by man in a plant (not just packaged), it makes the product seem much more artificial than natural to me.
- Erythritol: Erythritol is a sugar alcohol used as a food additive. Many sugar alcohols cause digestion issues, however, erythritol is said to be less likely to cause gastric side effects than other sugar alcohols. Although it is found in some fruit and fermented foods, the erythritol found in any packaged product is produced at an industrial level (manufactured) from glucose by fermentation with yeast.
- Cheating the Odds: When you consume foods that are “zero calorie,” you are essentially tricking your body. It thinks it hasn’t consumed food, thus, causing you to remain hungry. Zero-calorie sweeteners aren’t feeding you nutrients, but rather, causing your body to look for nutrients it isn’t receiving. The result? You eat more, or at the very least, don’t feel satiated and become hungry soon after consuming the zero-calorie food.
I remain steady when I recommend that if you want something sweet, have a piece of fruit, drink a small glass of 100% fruit juice, or if you are really hankering, indulge in a small amount of food with real natural sugar, such as honey or maple syrup or pure cane sugar.
Have you tried Nectresse? What are your thoughts?