If you haven’t stopped using artificial sweeteners, please do so immediately!
The side effects simply aren’t worth it. They cause symptoms that range from headaches and migraines to weight gain and even more serious conditions like cardiovascular disease.
Artificial sweeteners retrain the taste buds to need more and more, sweeter and sweeter foods. This leads to even greater incidences of obesity, type 2 diabetes, kidney damage and so much more.
Holly Strawbridge, former editor of Harvard Health, points out that while FDA studies have “ruled out cancer risk” for non-nutritive sweeteners, all of the studies conducted were based on significantly smaller doses than the 24 to 50 ounces a day of diet soda commonly consumed. These portions have not been evaluated for their safety.
In addition, another study on the effects of artificial sweeteners on atherosclerosis found that daily consumption of drinks with artificial sweeteners creates a 35 percent greater risk of metabolic syndrome (conditions that occur together: increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels), and a 67 percent increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Atherosclerosis is when plaque builds up inside the arteries leading to strokes, heart attacks and even death.
There is additional evidence that links artificial sweeteners to the development of glucose intolerance and other metabolic conditions that result in higher than normal blood glucose levels.
A 2018 study published in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases also revealed that the artificial sugar, sucralose (otherwise known as Splenda) and maltodextrin, intensifies gut inflammation in mice that carry Crohn’s-like diseases. Specifically, the artificial sweetener increases the number of Proteobacteria – a microbe bacteria associated with E. coli, Salmonella and Legionellales – in the mice who carried a Chrohn’s-like disease.
Additionally, the ingestion of artificial sugar intensified myeloperoxidase (an enzyme in white blood cells) activity in individuals that have a form of inflammatory bowel disease. This study indicates that it may be practical to track Proteobacteria and myeloperoxidase in patients to adjust their diet and monitor the disease and gut health.
Partial List Of Where Dangerous Artificial Sweeteners Hide:
Toothpaste and mouthwash
Children’s chewable vitamins
Cough syrup and liquid medicines
No-calorie waters and drinks
Frozen yogurt and other frozen deserts
Processed snack foods
“Lite” or diet fruit juices and beverages
Please avoid these artificial sweeteners:
Aspartame – also marketed as NutraSweet, Equal, Sugar Twin and AminoSweet, Calcium cyclamate, Cyclamates, Saccharin, Sodium cyclamate, Sweetening agent.
It is currently used in more than 6,000 consumer food and beverage products, including Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, sugar-free gum, candy, condiments and vitamins, and over 500 prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications.
According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine aspartame has carcinogenic effects.
A recent study points to alarming news for women who consume artificial sweeteners during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. It appears that aspartame can predispose babies to metabolic syndrome disorders, and obesity, later in life.
Common side effects of aspartame include headaches, migraines, mood disorders, dizziness and episodes of mania. Comprising phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol, these substances can stay in the liver, kidneys and brain for quite some time.
Dozens of studies have linked aspartame to serious health problems, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, seizures, stroke and dementia, as well as negative effects such as intestinal dysbiosis, mood disorders, headaches and migraines.
Sucralose, derived from sugar, was originally introduced as a natural sugar substitute. But it’s a chlorinated sucrose derivative. Chlorine is one of the most toxic chemicals.
At 600 times sweeter than sugar, it can contribute to an addiction for overly sweet foods and drinks. A medical study that found it could be linked to leukemia in mice.
A study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health found that cooking with sucralose at high temperatures can generate dangerous chloropropanols – a toxic class of compounds. Human and rodent studies demonstrate that it can be metabolized and have a toxic effect on the body.
Acesulfame K (ACE, ACE K, Sunette, Sweet One, Sweet ‘N Safe)
Composed of a potassium salt that contains methylene chloride, Acesulfame K is routinely found in sugar-free chewing gum, alcoholic beverages, candies and even sweetened yogurts. It’s often used in combination with aspartame and other noncaloric sweeteners. It found in highly processed foods and baked goods.
Long-term exposure to methylene chloride has been shown to cause nausea, mood problems, possibly some types of cancer, impaired liver and kidney function, problems with eyesight, and perhaps even autism.
Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low)
Many studies link saccharin to serious health conditions. Sadly, it’s the primary sweetener for children’s medications, including chewable aspirin, cough syrup, and other over-the-counter and prescription medications. It’s believed that saccharin contributes to photosensitivity, nausea, digestive upset, tachycardia and some types of cancer.
Xylitol (Erythritol, Maltitol, Mannitol, Sorbitol and other sugar alcohols that end in –itol)
Sugar alcohols aren’t absorbed well by the body and cause an allergic reaction for those who have a sensitivity to it. In addition, it has gastrointestinal side effects that include bloating, gas, cramping and diarrhea. Its laxative effect is so pronounced that it’s actually part of the chemical makeup for many over-the-counter laxatives.
WebMD states: “Not enough is known about the use of xylitol during pregnancy and breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.”
Special note to dog owners:
Sugar alcohol-based artificial sweeteners are a life-threatening toxin to dogs. Be mindful of breath mints, candies, sugar-free gum, frozen desserts and other foods when your pets are around.
Healthy Alternatives to Artificial Sweeteners:
Maple syrup, coconut sugar, stevia (safe as a fresh herb), fruit purees and raw honey are great, healthy substitutions. Start working to retrain your palette to enjoy the natural sweetness of foods.
Try adding other flavors like tangy, tart, warm and savory to please your palette. For example, vanilla, cocoa, licorice, nutmeg and cinnamon enhance the flavor of foods, so you need less sweetness.
When you crave a sweet drink, try homemade infused waters. Start sweetening your iced tea with honey, coconut sugar or even maple syrup for a twist.
America’s obesity epidemic continues to grow, and it coincides with an increase in the widespread use of non-nutritive artificial sweeteners including aspartame, sucralose, saccharin and sugar alcohols.
Research shows that artificial sweeteners don’t satiate you the way real foods do. Instead, you end up feeling less satisfied and more prone to eating and drinking more, resulting in weight gain, in addition to potentially suffering dangerous side effects associated with artificial sweeteners.
Everyone should avoid artificial sweeteners, but it’s particularly important for children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. The risk is simply too great.
Please see the original for the Footnotes and Citations for the scientific studies.
There are plenty of natural, healthy sweeteners available that provide essential nutrients and taste great. To learn more visit:
11 Best Sugar Substitutes (the Healthiest Natural Sweeteners)
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