The dirty truth about artificial sweeteners + 5 healthy alternatives

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If you’ve turned to artificial sweeteners to avoid sugar, you’re not alone.

Unfortunately, they are MORE addictive than plain refined sugar.

The main reason is that they are super-sweet. They are referred to as high-intensity sweeteners (HIS) because they are so sweet.  An entire industry was created around HIS and you’ll find them readily available.

The following 6 artificial sweeteners were all approved by the FDA and are the biggest offenders in the HIS category. Let’s take a closer look at each one:

1.   Acesulfame Potassium (Ace-K) – Acesulfame is used expand the sweetness of processed foods. The FDA issued safety guidelines for the allowable daily intake per pound of body weight. For Acesulfame K it is 15mg/day per kg of body weight. Do you know how much Ace-K you consumed today?  Of course not. If you monitor your sugar intake, you probably review product labels and personal consumption. However, you aren’t looking for the volume of Ace-K you consumed.

Like MSG – monosodium glutamate, it is use to enhance the food’s flavoring and it’s easy to overdose especially when you don’t know how much is in the product!

2.   Advantame – Advatame is a low-calorie, high-intensity sweetener that is approximately 20,000 times sweeter than sugar. It is an aspartame derivative carrying most of the negatives associated with Aspartame.

You’ll often find it included in package foods especially cookies, cakes, Jell-o and puddings.  Thing that kids especially enjoy.

Advatame includes a substance called phenylalanine which is can act as a neurotoxin in a processed form. High levels of phenylalanine have been associated with behavioral changes such as ADD, ADHD, and depression.

3.   Aspartame – Aspartame’s contribution to weight gain is linked to the two main ingredients, phenylalanine and aspartic acid.  These stimulate the release of two key hormones insulin and leptin. They are both linked to feeling full and satisfied, the control of fat storage and are key in regulating metabolism.

This means that even though you are not eating sugary calories, your insulin and leptin levels are still being raised. High levels of insulin are linked with metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and diabetes. Leptin is linked with metabolic syndrome, obesity, and stubborn belly fat. The point of satiety, or feeling full, takes about 20 minutes to reach, but those with insulin and leptin imbalances can happily keep on eating without feeling full.  

Watch out for Aspartame in zero calorie soft drinks! This is marketed as a sugar substitute sold as Equal and NutraSweet.  Here are some issues with Aspartame. The first is phenylketonuria (PKU). One out of 20,000 babies is born without the ability to metabolize phenylalanine, one of the two amino acids in aspartame. Toxic levels of this substance in the blood can result in mental retardation. Aspartame is believed to alter brain function and behavior. Many people have reported the following side effects from aspartame:

  • Fibromyalgia Syndrome and symptoms of Fibromyalgia
  • Multiple Sclerosis symptoms
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Menstrual problems

4.   Neotame – Neotame was developed to address issues with Aspartame triggering PKU, phenylketonuria. PKU is an inherited disorder that increases the levels of a substance called phenylalanine in the blood. Phenylalanine is a building block of proteins (an amino acid) introduced by the foods we eat. It is found in all proteins and in some artificial sweeteners.

Aspartame can trigger PKU leading to mental problems or intellectual disability.

Neotame is the new aspartame, with an ingredient change intended to make it safer that aspartame by removing the chemical that can trigger PKU. It is 13,000 sweeter than sugar, and far deadlier.

Unfortunately, it is more toxic than aspartame.

Neotame, like aspartame, turns into formaldehyde in the body, and also the poisonous substance formic acid, commonly found in venomous insects. It is linked to methanol toxicity and holes in the brain from the poisoning. It is being fed to beef cattle in order to fatten them, since it makes the (low-quality) feed tastier for them in the way that molasses was used in the past.

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5.   Saccharin – In the 1970’s Saccharin was tied to bladder cancer in rats and it was the very first HIS to hit the market.  The brand name is Sweet ‘N Low®. Instead of banning Saccharin, the FDA had the manufacturers add a warning to the boxes of Sweet ‘N Low®. It is still sold and found in different food products.

6.   Sucralose – Most people fell for Splenda being considered ‘natural’ because it was made from sugar. It is. BUT, sugar is a small element in this mix. Suclarose is chemically created by using chlorine, methanol and acetic acid, all poisonous to humans.

When was the last time you had a teaspoon of these three? There’s more. Suclarose is closely related to the pesticide DDT. Now that was banned as a pesticide. Side effects of consuming Splenda include damaged DNA, alteration of brain chemistry, depression, and cancer!

If all of this wasn’t enough to get you to STOP consuming these sweeteners…maybe this will.

Consuming HIS sweeteners promotes auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. 

Fibromyalgia leads to chronic pain which aggravates depression. Since we know that HIS leads to chemical imbalances, which lead to depression. It just makes sense to remove the HIS from your diet.

Excessive weight gain and calorie consumption is linked to heart diseases, as is inflammation. Up to 75% of heart disease patients have depression.

Certain health conditions relate to the process of aging, including osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. HIS can cause premature aging and wear and tear on the body. So too can carrying excess weight.

Try one of these 5 healthy alternatives in place of the traditional sweetening products that are high in fructose.

  1. Stevia – this is a sweetener of plant origin that is derived from a native South American herb. 
  2. Coconut Sugar – the sap from the palm can be used for the creation of a natural sweetener. It also has a very low glycemic index which means it doesn’t lead to spikes and drops in the blood sugar levels.
  3. Agave Nectar – agave is made from the same plant that makes tequila but only use it in small quantities. It doesn’t lead to rapid blood sugar increase but it contains a large number of calories.
  4. Honey – this is a superfood that has so many health benefits from being anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and anti-fungal to name a few. Aim for raw and organic honey varieties.
  5. Blackstrap Molasses – small quantities can contain large amounts of iron, magnesium, calcium and vitamin B6.

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  1. My auntie was also a fan of artificial sweeteners until she knew about stevia. Now she owns a pot of stevia plant at home and she just plucks a leaf and directly put it in her coffee. I would really love to do that also!
    Zar Santos recently posted…How to Find the Best Gym for YouMy Profile

    Comment by Zar Santos — 7 January, 2019 @ 3:44 am

  2. I used to have one too and crush up the leaves! So cool!

    Comment by Christina Russell — 7 January, 2019 @ 12:18 pm

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