Artificial Sweeteners: What’s the big deal?

May 13, 2015

There are many chemical substances (aka artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose) hiding in various brands of tea mixes, chocolate mixes, cookies, gelatins, puddings, pre-sweetened cereals, yogurt, gum, and more.  Most people believe that artificial sweeteners can’t be all that bad.

After all, they help you avoid sugar and lose weight, right?  Wrong.

Although there have been thousands of reports on the adverse effects from these chemicals, they are still being consumed by a large percentage of the population.  Artificial sweeteners are linked to cancer, neurological brain damage, decreased mental function, diabetes, MS, Parkinson’s, seizures, migraine headaches, increased cravings, and weight gain (wait, aren’t we consuming them in order to lose weight!?).

 

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Let’s look at aspartame specifically, more commonly known as Equal, NutraSweet, or AminoSweet.

Aspartame is associated to various symptoms – headache, dizziness, nausea, weight gain, mood changes, anxiety attacks, chest pain, swelling, diarrhea, abdominal pain, vision changes, fatigue, seizures, spell problems, memory loss, rash, ringing in the ear, numbness.

Aspartame is made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol.  The first two are amino acids (building blocks of protein), but the third is a known toxin.  The metabolization of methanol in the body leads to cellular protein damage, impaired DNA functioning, and retinal damage among other things.

Just in case the list of side effects isn’t long enough to convince you, consider this… For some individuals aspartame appears to be addictive and once it is eliminated from the diet some experience severe withdrawal symptoms (severe irritability, tension, depression, tremors, nausea, sweating, and cravings for the product)

 

Now, let’s focus on sucralose.  Everyone knows someone who swears that Splenda (sucralose) is better than Equal, as they dump 6 packets into their morning coffee.  Does this have any validity?

Twenty years ago we believed Equal (aspartame) had zero side effects.  We have thoroughly proved that to be incorrect.  Maybe these new, sweet chemical substances are safe, maybe they are not.  If the past has given us any indication, they are most likely not.  Is being part of the test market really worth the risks associated with ingesting proven carcinogens?

 

There are many natural and safe alternatives.  The best are those that occur naturally like raw cane sugar, pure maplesyrup, raw honey or molasses, and stevia, but we will leave that discussion for another day.

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