Artificial Sweeteners Don't Fit Into A Natural, Healthy Lifestyle

"We are living in a word today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons."  Alfred Newman

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.

Low Calorie Sweeteners

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.

I Made The Move Away From Diet Soda

As most of you already know, diet soda is laced with artificial sweeteners.  Among those would include:

* Aspartame

* Saccharine

* Splenda

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. 

Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners

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.

"Most people think that they are doing something good for themselves by choosing the 'diet' drinks or 'lite' yogurts compared to the sugar-laden versions, but the problem is that you're exposing yourself to a whole new set of problems with the artificially sweetened drinks and foods."  Mike Geary

* Nausea

* Seizures

* Neurological disorders along with blurred vision and memory loss

* Inflammation

* 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.

Satisfying That Sweet Tooth

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.

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Just below is a quote from "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff" by Richard Carlson.  The chapter title is "Open Your Heart To Compassion." 

"Every day we are given hundreds of opportunities to practice compassion in action.  We can learn to be less reactive and live with more patience.

We can smile when others are serious.  We can drive our cars more carefully, pick up litter on the streets, recycle, and reduce our consumption.

We can resolve conflicts rather than create them, and we can become less judgemental and more inclusive.  When someone is aggressive, we can teach them to be more peaceful.  Instead of waiting for an example, we can be the example.

The more compassion that enters your heart, the happier and more peaceful you will become.  By knowing that you are doing your part to create a better world-whatever form that takes-you will fill any void that exists in your life, and you will begin to find the peace you are looking for."

What's New?

Just below is an article from Peter Schiff about passing the buck from one administration to the next.

Owning The Bubble

Just below is a link to look up your congressional representatives.   Let them know you expect accountability.

Congressional Representative Look Up