The Trouble With Artificial Sweeteners

aspartameIn theory, artificial sweeteners should be a win-win for people who need to lose weight.

You can continue to eat the sweet foods you love without the added calories of sugar.

Unfortunately, sticking with these types of sweeteners often leads to weight gain — as evidenced by the large numbers of overweight and obese people who drink diet sodas and eat artificially sweetened foods; furthermore, they can do more harm than good.

There’s mounting evidence that these products can severely impact your health.

Here’s how:

  • Artificial sweeteners may trigger cravings for other sweet foods. Your body looks for nutritional value in everything you eat or drink. It will absorb the nutrients, discard the remainder, and store what it cannot use or eliminate. Chemically laden diet sodas and other artificial sweetener–laced foods generally lack nutritional value, but what they don’t lack are toxins, which will be stored in your fat cells. In addition, when your body is not fed nutrients, it asks again and again for more food, triggering heavy-duty cravings for fattening, sugary foods. This certainly isn’t what you expected when you picked up those diet foods and 
  • Artificial sweeteners can mess with your metabolism. Food additives containing excitotoxic chemicals (toxins that damage nerve cells), such as aspartame and MSG, can cause changes to your brain that can increase your risk of developing metabolic syndrome, making it far more likely that you will become obese and have difficulty removing the weight with diet and exercise — the result of which may be type-2 diabetes. This risk increases if you began eating these chemical additives at an early age.

The reason artificial sweeteners don’t have any calories is because the body doesn’t recognize them as food, and therefore can’t digest them. The issue here is that because they’re not digested, they become lodged in your digestive system and, in some cases, circulate through your body wreaking havoc on what they come in contact with.
Numerous health issues, including headaches, nausea, hearing loss, skin conditions, dizziness, fatigue and chest pains have been associated with the consumption of artificial sweeteners. Newer studies even indicate that artificial sweeteners can kill the good bacteria in your digestive system, depressing your immune system and making you more susceptible to illness.

Currently, there are five artificial sweeteners approved by the FDA:

  1. Aspartame, sold under the brand names NutraSweet® and Equal®
  2. Saccharin, sold under the brand name Sweet’N Low®
  3. Sucralose, which is a sugar molecule with chlorine added to it, sold under the brand name Splenda®
  4. Acesulfame K (or acesulfame potassium), produced by Hoechst, a German chemical company; widely used in foods, beverages and pharmaceutical products around the world.
  5. Neotame, produced by the NutraSweet Company; the most recent addition to FDA’s list of approved artificial sweeteners, neotame is used in diet soft drinks and low-calorie foods.

I highly recommend that you avoid these artificial sweeteners and any food containing them. If you’re looking for a natural, no calorie sweetener, pure stevia is your best bet. Stevia comes from the stevia plant and is at least 100 times sweeter than sugar. I prefer the liquid form to the powder and use only a small amount (5-6 drops) as too much will end up tasting bitter. Try it in sparkling water or club soda tastes great.

My W.E.A.L.T.H Program goes beyond weight management and into the realm of lifelong wellness and vitality.

To Your Health,

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