The various media outlets scream out at us with advertising about artificial sweeteners value as a "natural" product that promotes weight loss. For many of us, this seems like just what we're looking for, and since they say it is natural, it must be good. We'll take a little deeper look into that reasoning.
Regular readers at books-empower.com know that we have received several letters from readers who have cut out soda from their daily diets. They were quite open in discussing how they were surprised by the amount of sugar they were taking in everyday.
We also heard from a reader who titled her letter, " I Made The Move Away from Diet Soda." That page has been read many times every month since being posted. You can follow the link just below to read it.
As most of you already know, diet soda is laced with artificial sweeteners. Among those would include:
While these products are usually low in calories, they are also just about totally devoid of any nutritional value. And they offer no real help with weight loss. In fact, we're hearing more and more that artificial sweeteners actually increase your appetite. Our guest writer who moved away from diet soda will attest to that as being fact.
Multiple independent studies indicate these sugar replacements may actually cause higher insulin levels in a way very similar to that of sugar. The result is often the same. Higher bursts of insulin can lead to fat storage. So what have you really gained?
Here is a short rundown on some reported side effects of artificial sweeteners.
* Neurological disorders along with blurred vision and memory loss
* Impairment of kidneys and liver
* Heart palpitations
* Weight gain (There it is again)
Here are a few not so fun facts.
* Aspartame contains methanol which converts into formaldehyde when it metabolizes. Aspartame also contains phenylalanine which breaks down into a known carcinogen labeled as DPK.
* Another main ingredient is known as Aceslufame-K. This wonderful substance added to our food chain contains methylene chloride which is also a known cancer causing agent.
* Yet another, called Sucralose is created by adding chlorine. You will hear from manufacturer's hype that this is really nothing more than the chlorine in everyday table salt. The fact you will not hear is that this particular chlorine's chemical structure is the same as that found in DDT. Would you like that added to your food?
In this link you can read some more great information from an expert in the field of nutrition. I would agree with his assessment that in the comparison between artificial sweeteners and sugar, there is no winner. Just different types of health dangers.
So how do we satisfy our urge for "something sweet"? We already eat too much sugar. Probably more than we realize. Did you know that two slices of bread-any bread including whole wheat, causes a sugar spike similar to one can of soda?
Mike Geary provides another type of sweetener in that link from a few paragraphs up the page. But he also includes a quantity warning. In all things moderation is important.
In a future page we'll go over the role of glucose and the challenges with too much fructose intake. For today I'll suggest an alternative to sugar and to artificial sweeteners. That alternative would be fruit. Whole fruit.
Yes, fruit does contain fructose. But it also has nutritional value, including the presence of higher levels of antioxidants. And fruits are natural foods. No chlorine, no methanol. No multi-syllable words that take us back to a two syllable word we hear too often. Cancer.
Just below is a chart which details the level of fructose in many popular fruits. This chart came from some information published by Dr. Joseph Mercola. We'll use it again for future pages.
Artificial sweeteners don't belong in any category that includes healthy foods. They are chemicals. They fill a niche created because people don't have the full story on proper nutrition. So they tend to reach for easier and quicker resolutions to long term health challenges.
But the answer is always to go back to nature. No genetically modified organisms. No additives. No chemically altered substances.