Artificial sweeteners. It’s about time I blogged about this. Recently I’ve realized that most people really don’t know about the dangers of these pesky chemicals, and are in fact drinking/eating them because they think it’s healthier to do so. I keep saying to people “if there’s one thing I can tell you to give up for better health and happiness, it should be artificial sweeteners,” and they look at me in confusion, saying this is the first time they’ve ever heard this. Sadly, those artificial sweeteners sure do have brilliant marketing techniques. But if you care about your health (physical, mental, spiritual), its time to bulldoze through the myths and get rid of artificial sweeteners once and for all!!
Before we get started, let me just tell you that this blog post is coming from an ex-artificial sweetener junkie (me). 2 years ago I was humming a much different tune. 3 packets of Splenda in every coffee? Check. Diet sodas all day long? Check. Sugar-free Red Bull? Check. Sugar-free cookies and candies? Check! Sugar-free gum? Check!! I, too, was oblivious.
The first night I met my boyfriend Leo, one of the things I remember him saying is “artificial sweeteners are the devil.” I didn’t really get it, but I was intrigued. Once we started dating, he wouldn’t even kiss me if I had chewed gum with artificial sweeteners in it (well, he would, but very reluctantly). He went on to tell me that artificial sweeteners “lower your overall vibe” (read more about this in Power vs. Force). I didn’t know anything about the health dangers at the time, but I didn’t want to be a low-vibe person. My intuition told me to try cutting out artificial sweeteners. Now, after 2 years off the junk, if I accidentally have something with an artificial sweetener in it, I get an extreme chemical taste in my mouth and my tongue goes numb. No joke! That stuff is lethal.
Anyway, there’s more to giving up artificial sweeteners than just raising your vibe. I was driven to finally write this post when I listened to a class for my nutrition school led by Skinny Bitch‘s Kim Barnouin. She was so matter-of-fact about artificial sweeteners, that I had to share it here with you here. I hope this will inspire you to try life without the chemicals.
By the way, artificial sweeteners can usually be identified by the names sucralose, saccharin, or aspartame. (Splenda, Equal, Sweet n Low, etc).
From Kim Barnouin’s class for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition:
The worst product that has ever hit the food market is definitely artificial sweetener (such as sucralose, aspartame and saccharin). There are 92 side effects listed by the FDA, including:
- Memory loss
- Nerve cell damage
- Reproductive disorders
- Brain lesions
- Weight gain
- Food cravings
The FDA calls sucralose 98% pure, but the other 2% contains heavy metals, methanol and arsenic. There are many aspartame victim support groups out there where people help each other heal from the damage of this chemical. Artificial sweeteners are highly acid forming, which makes our bodies more prone to illness. If there’s one piece of advice we’d ask people to take from Skinny Bitch, its that you stay away from products that contain artificial sweeteners and tell everyone you know to do the same. They are so dangerous to your health.
Ew! Not worth it. Artificial sweeteners don’t even taste good. Once you’re off of them for awhile, you will get grossed out by the taste. I’ve heard stories of people who gave up artificial sweeteners and felt so good they were able to get off of their anti-depressants!
More artificial sweetener articles here at Natural News.
If you’re inspired to ditch the artificial stuff, here are a few natural sweeteners to consider (excerpts from David Wolfe):
- Honey (raw, organic): Raw honey is always the natural sweetener of choice. Our #1 source of digestive enzymes. Helps the body remove metabolic waste. (Raw honey is my favorite sweetener now!)
- Maple syrup: this is the only sustainably-harvested, large-scale, forest sweetener in the world. Maple is likely the richest source of minerals found in any sweetener other than dark honeys and molasses. Look for organic maple syrup.
- Stevia: This is a wonderful and easy plant to grow. It contains no real sugar, so therefore it does not feed candida or cancer. Look for organic stevia products.
- Soak water: This is a natural sweetener from dried fruits such as date water, goji water, or dried fig water. Shop for organic dried fruit products and soak them in spring water for several hours to make your own fresh soak water.
Food for thought.