Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sugar: What About Those Artificial Sweeteners?

I say pass. Here’s why…

Artificial means not real. It’s not real food. It’s created in a lab. Why would I eat THAT!?

Even with artificial sweeteners, Americans are still becoming fatter. It isn’t helping much with weight loss and maintaining good health.

Aspartame (Equal or NutraSweet
)
The following is from the book Eat This and Live by Dr. Don Colbert:

Aspartame is made of three components: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. Methanol is also knows as ‘wood alcohol,’ and it is 10 percent of what is released from aspartame when this substance is broken down in the human digestive tract. When a beverage containing aspartame is exposed to heat, it releases methanol.

In the body, methanol is converted to formaldehyde--yes, embalming fluid--and formic acid. Methanol and formaldehyde in high amounts can cause blindness, eye damage, or neurological damage.

Side effects of aspartame include vision problems, headaches, confusion, depression, dizziness, convulsions, nausea, diarrhea, migraines, abdominal pain, fatigue, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.

Check out this site for a longer list of side effects of aspartame





Mannitol, orbital, xylitol, and hydrogenated starch hydrolysate
The following is from the book Get the Sugar Out by Ann Louise Gittleman

Classified as sugar alcohols, these no caloric sweeteners are laxatives and, when taken frequently or in large doses, often cause uncomfortable gastrointestinal bloating, cramps, and diarrhea. Common ingredients in sugar-free chewing gums, orbital and mannitol do not promote cavities in the mouth, but they have been shown to nourish and increase the number of streptococcus mutans bacteria that do cause cavities. Even more disturbing are the results of long-term feeding studies involving xylitol, which in large doses was shown to cause tumors and organ injury in animals.


Splenda (sucralose)
I know that splenda has been all the rave lately but again, it is man-made. Not natural. I’m always cautious of non-food “food” items.

The following is form Eat This and Live by Dr. Don Colbert:

Splenda brand sweetener is a substance called sucralose, which is made by turning sugar into a chlorocarbon. A few of the side effects of sucralose in animal studies include shrunken thymus glands (the thymus is critical in warding off cancer and infections), enlarged liver and kidneys, atrophy of the lymph follicles in the spleen and thymus, reduced growth rate, decrease in red blood cell count, hyperplasia of the pelvis, aborted pregnancy, decreased fetal body weights and placental weights, and diarrhea.

No long-term studies of sucrolose in humans have been completed, but according to a laboratory in Oxford, England, sucrolose may form trace amounts of a mutagenic agent that may act as a carcinogen.
People who use Splenda (sucralose) may experience the following side effects:
Bloating, abdominal pain, gas, nausea, blurry vision, diarrhea, headaches (especially migraines), heart palpitations, shortness of breath, frequent need to urinate at night, depression or overwhelming anxiety, “space-out” or drugged sensation, joint pain and dizziness.

A quick note on honey… it’s high on the glycemic index and your body reacts to it much in the same way it does to sugar. While it is natural and does have some benefits it is also sweeter than sugar, has more calories and raises the blood sugar even more than white sugar. You also want to make sure you are buying 100% honey (and same with maple syrup… 100%) otherwise you are most likely just eating a bunch of corn syrup.


So... I know that's a lot of information but I think it is really important to think about what it is that we are actually eating.

Do you use artificial sweeteners?

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