Why Artificial Sweeteners Are Worse Than Sugar
Sickly Sweet: What You Need to Know About Artificial Sweeteners
Knowing that sugar is bad for us, many of us have opted for the blue, pink or yellow packets. We’re even willing to put up with an odd aftertaste as long as we know we’re cutting out calories. So, lower calories, no sugar – must mean these artificial sweeteners are healthier right? We’ll let you be the judge…
The most common of these artificial sweeteners are:
- Aspartame (Equal and NutraSweet)
- Saccharin (SugarTwin and Sweet’N Low)
- Sucralose (Splenda)
These artificial sweeteners claim zero calories, while still appeasing our craving for sweetness. The food industry has pushed their artificial sweeteners claiming that they offer a great sugar substitute for those with diabetes and for those wanting to lose weight. But after 30 years of research, we’ve learned that those claims are as artificial as the sweeteners they represent.
What’s in Artificial Sweeteners?
Aspartame is the most widely used artificial sweetener in diet soft drinks and is used in many other food products. Aspartame consists of the chemicals: phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol. “Phenylalanine and aspartic acid directly impact brain and central nervous system functions.” As such, these chemicals affect mood disorders, memory problems and other neurological illnesses.
Methanol is wood alcohol. When metabolized, methanol transforms into formaldehyde (a.k.a, embalming fluid), a deadly neurotoxin. The manufacturers of aspartame claim that methanol and its byproducts are quickly excreted from the body. “But research has found measurable amounts of formaldehyde in the livers, kidneys and brains of test subjects after ingestion of aspartame.”
Shockingly, over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA are attributed to aspartame. More than 90 documented symptoms rise from its use: headaches, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, insomnia and many more. Researchers have also found that many chronic diseases are either triggered by or worsened by aspartame, including: Alzheimer’s, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, lymphoma, chronic fatigue syndrome and others.
Whoa! This means your sugar-free soda, gum, chocolate, desserts, jelly, and even some tooth pastes and vitamins may be causing your headaches, fatigue and insomnia.
Sucralose (Splenda) has quickly become the number one selling artificial sweetener in America. Sucralose is created by combining a chlorine molecule with a sugar molecule. We can’t metabolize chlorine, so this synthetic union prevents the body from metabolizing the sugar as sugar.
Duke University conducted a study in 2008 and found that sucralose “may cause weight gain, kill beneficial intestinal bacteria and block the absorption of prescription drugs.”
Those who use sucralose report problems including: headaches, muscle aches, stomach cramping, diarrhea, bladder problems, skin rashes, dizziness and inflammation.
Unfortunately, not only some sodas, but many other sparkling beverages, milk drinks, yogurts, and other desserts are sweetened with sucralose. Anything sweetened with sucralose increases your risk of developing gut disorders. By all means, read labels and stick to products with ingredients you can trust.
The main ingredient in saccharin, is benzoic sulfimide, a sulfa-based sweetener. If you check the material safety data sheet (MSDS) on benzoic sulfimide, you’ll find the following precautionary statement: “Harmful by inhalation, in contact with skin and if swallowed. Wear suitable protective clothing, gloves and eye/face protection.” (Note: synonyms for this chemical listed on the MSDS include “saccharin.”)
Saccharin users also report the following harmful effects: diarrhea, skin problems, other allergic reactions, and anyone allergic to sulfa may experience nausea. Some health groups warn that saccharin should not be ingested by infants, children or pregnant women.
Do you really want to put any of these chemicals into your body?
Even someone committed to eating organically will occasionally reach for a breath mint to avoid embarrassment, only to end up with a nasty dose of artificial sweeteners like saccharin.
3 Ways Artificial Sweeteners Are Worse for You than Sugar
Some reading this article may argue, “I’ve been using artificial sweeteners for years and have never experienced any of the negative side effects listed above. So what’s wrong with using them as a weight-loss tool or as a substitute for sugar if I have diabetes?”
In recent years, countless studies have been conducted that challenge the effectiveness of artificial sweeteners to curb obesity and aid in lowering blood sugar. In fact, researchers are finding that artificial sweeteners actually promote obesity and raise blood sugar levels.
There are a couple of scientific reasons for this.