Artificial sweeteners, in my opinion, are some
of the most dangerous substances to come on the market lately.
Unfortunately, Americans are so addicted to sugar that some form of
sweetener is mandatory in the Standard American Diet (SAD) today.
Most of the artificial sweeteners on the market now should not be consumed for a multitude of reasons. If Mother Nature didn’t make it, you should not be eating it. Products made in a lab are bound to cause problems sooner or later because your body does not recognize these things.
Dr. Joseph Mercola is one of the leading authorities on this subject and has actually written a book on it titled “Sweet Deception”. This excellent book will give you all of the facts and figures as to how these artificial sweeteners were developed and how they got approved and put out in the market place.
I’m going to cover just a few of these and let you visit his web site for articles on the other kinds of fake sweeteners. All of them are to be avoided and happily, there are plenty of great substitutes. I’m going to provide you with a few quotes from some of his articles to give you a sampling.
Aspartame, under the brand names of Nutrasweet and Equal, is the worst artificial sweetener, according to Dr. Mercola in his article "Artificial Sweeteners - More Dangerous Than You Ever Imagined."(mercola.com)
This article offers a wealth of information concerning this danger and I highly advise reading it. It gives you symptoms to check for and resources for what to do to eliminate them.
According to the article, the FDA has more reports of adverse side effects from this sweetener than any other product. Among these are: headache, change in mood, change in vision, convulsions and seizures, sleep problems/insomnia, change in heart rate, hallucination, abdominal cramps/pain, memory loss, rash, nausea and vomiting, fatigue and weakness, dizziness/poor equilibrium, diarrhea, hives, and joint pain.
Aspartame is a neuro excitotoxin that can cause extensive damage. "The term excitotoxicity was coined by Dr. Russell Blaylock, a neurosurgeon. It describes the ability of certain amino acids like monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartic acid to literally excite cells to death.” This particularly applies to brain cells.
It can also lead to weight gain. Yes, what you are ingesting to help you control your weight is actually doing just the opposite. To quote again from the article: “The two main ingredients of aspartame, phenylalanine and aspartic acid, stimulate the release of insulin and leptin -- hormones which instruct your body to store fat.
In addition, a large intake of phenylalanine can drive down your serotonin levels. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that tells you when you’re full. A low level of serotonin can bring on food cravings which can lead to weight gain.”
Neotame is the “new and improved version” but is likely to be just as detrimental to your health as aspartame. Also, parents, be aware that aspartame is frequently found in children’s vitamins, especially the name brands like Flintstones. Be particularly alert to this danger.
McNeil Nutritionals, the makers of Splenda, would have you believe that it is “made from sugar so it tastes like sugar”. Yes, it’s sugar, but with a few chlorine molecules added which makes it not like sugar at all! The sugar industry is currently suing McNeil Nutritionals for implying that Splenda is a natural form of sugar with no calories.
From this excellent in-depth article on Splenda found on Dr. Mercola’s website, I quote: “In the five step patented process of making sucralose, three chlorine molecules are added to a sucrose or sugar molecule. A sucrose molecule is a disaccharide that contains two single sugars bound together; glucose and fructose.
The chemical process to make sucralose alters the chemical composition of the sugar so much that it is somehow converted to a fructo-galactose molecule. This type of sugar molecule does not occur in nature and therefore your body does not possess the ability to properly metabolize it. As a result of this "unique" biochemical make-up, McNeil Nutritionals makes its claim that Splenda is not digested or metabolized by the body, making it have zero calories."
As to how much Splenda is absorbed into your body, it varies with the individual. “Some of you will absorb and metabolize more than others. If you are healthy and your digestive system works well, you may be at higher risk for breaking down this product in your stomach and intestines. Please understand that it is impossible for the manufacturers of Splenda to make any guarantees based on their limited animal data.”
“The entire issue of long-term safety has never been established. Let's look at the facts again:
There have only been six human trials to date
The longest trial lasted three months
At LEAST 15% of Splenda is not excreted from your body in a timely manner
Considering that Splenda bears more chemical similarity to DDT than it does to sugar, are you willing to bet your health on this data? Remember that fat soluble substances, such as DDT, can remain in your fat for decades and devastate your health.”
In addition, these artificial sweeteners are found in drinking
water now, along with all kinds of drug residues like statins,
anti-depressants, blood thinners, etc. as people excrete them out of
their bodies. Dr. Mercola explains:
“Sewage treatment plants fail to remove artificial sweeteners completely from waste water. These pollutants contaminate waters downstream, and may still be present in your drinking water.
A new, robust analytical method, which simultaneously extracts and analyzes seven commonly used artificial sweeteners, demonstrated the presence of several artificial sweeteners in waste water.
Until now, only sucralose has been detected in aquatic environments. Through the use of the new method, researchers were able to show for the first time that four artificial sweeteners -- acesulfame, saccharin, cyclamate, and sucralose -- are present in the waters from sewage treatment plants, indicating incomplete elimination during waste water treatment.”
One other class of sweeteners is the sugar alcohols. Dr. Mercola has this to say about them: “Sugar alcohols (also known as polyols) like erythritol are regulated as either GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) or food additives. Despite the name, sugar alcohols are neither sugar nor alcohol. They vary in sweetness from about half as sweet as sugar to equally as sweet.
They’re frequently combined with other low-calorie or artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, acesulfame-K, neotame, saccharin, or as in the case of VitaminWater, crystalline fructose.The reason sugar alcohols provide fewer calories than sugar is because they are not completely absorbed in your body. However, this fact has certain drawbacks, none of which are good.
High intakes of foods containing sugar alcohols can lead to adverse physical symptoms like abdominal gas and diarrhea. Some polyols are clearly worse than others. Sorbitol or mannitol-containing foods, for example, are so potent they must display a warning on their label stating "excess consumption may have a laxative effect."
In connection with crystalline fructose, Dr. Mercola states that:
“While many people mistakenly believe that fructose is an acceptable
form of sweetener, it is far from healthy. Refined man-made fructose
metabolizes to triglycerides and adipose tissue, not blood glucose.
...Based on the latest research, crystalline fructose is definitely something you’ll want to avoid as much as possible. Whereas regular HFCS contains 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose, crystalline fructose is at minimum 99 percent fructose, which could only mean that all the health problems associated with fructose may be even more pronounced with this product.And if that’s not bad enough, crystalline fructose may also contain arsenic, lead, chloride and heavy metals.”
The bottom line is that it is far safer to just totally eliminate all of the artificial sweeteners listed above, as well as sugar in all its forms (honey, maple syrup, etc.) from your diet. When you have reached optimum health, then you can occasionally indulge in the sugar only types of sweeteners.
PureVia and Truvia
Two other new ones on the market are PureVia and Truvia which are made from the herb stevia. While this is better, in that stevia is a natural substance, for them to be able to patent it, it has to be artificially manipulated. My advice would be to stick to the pure stevia which I am going to tell you about here.
Fear not, I am going to give you some healthy alternatives to these evils so that you can still have some sweetness in your life with no guilt and with no adverse side effects. After all, life is to be enjoyed!
Barbara's new video series is available now. Check it out here.
Barbara's book "Alive Health Recipe Book" is published. Find out more here.
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