How Sweet It Ain't

Artificial sweeteners by their very name should cause you to raise an eyebrow. "Sugar substitutes" may be a less frightening title, but they are still dangerous and should be avoided.  

Upon digestion, aspartame, one of America’s favorite fake sweeteners, breaks down into the amino acids aspartic acid and phenylalanine, as well as methyl alcohol and formaldehyde.  None of that is what you want in your body, unless you are already dead.  

The amino acids aspartic acid and phenylalanine are known as excitotoxins that over stimulate brain cells to the point of killing them.  The wood alcohol, methyl alcohol, can also damage brain cells, and formaldehyde can cause cancer.  In fact, aspartame has been linked to cancer, obesity, headaches, seizures, depression, insomnia, PMS, loss of memory, panic attacks, over eating and even an increase in regular sugar consumption.          

Aspartame has been widely studied and declared to be safe by the FDA, but then so was Vioxx.   It is marketed as Equal and NutraSweet, and is widely used in a variety of sugar-free or non-fat products, most notably soft drinks, as well as chewing gum, ice cream, yogurt, juice drinks, even nutritional bars and water, (why)?  

It is estimated that over 6,000 products worldwide contain this artificial, “mad scientist” substance.  Only by carefully reading labels can you avoid it.  

Another problem with artificial sweeteners is that they are an empty promise for sweet nutrition.  When you taste sweetness your body thinks nutrition and sugar are coming.  Your pancreas even secretes insulin in anticipation.  When no sugar arrives, the insulin in your system lowers your blood sugar and you crave sweets to bring that level back up and stabilize your energy. 

That is only one of the cravings you get from sweetness that delivers nothing. The body also now craves the nutrition it didn’t get from the pretend sugar, and you end up on the “see food” diet.  You see food, you eat it.  

It’s not because you have no will power to resist sweets, your body chemistry is screaming, “EAT”.  Either way, that diet soda you’re drinking to save on calories, may actually lead to weight gain instead. 

According to a study done in 1993 by Dr. Walton, a psychiatrist, aspartame can significantly increase depression in those prone to the disorder.  He believes this occurs because aspartame inhibits serotonin synthesis by decreasing the amount of available tryptophan needed as a precursor.  

Serotonin makes you feel happy and satisfied, and carbohydrates, (sugar) drives up your serotonin. That’s right, one more reason to crave and overeat sweets.

Sucralose, commonly known as Splenda carries it’s own health hazards. 

Research studies report up to a 40% shrinkage of the thymus gland from the use of sucralose.  This severely compromises your immune system.  Damage to the kidneys has also been reported.  Although sucralose may start out as sugar, the addition of chlorine makes it a chemical substance and not a natural sugar.  

No one would knowingly eat chlorine, or feed it to their children, but that is exactly what is happening when an estimated 4,500 food and beverage items contain Sucralose. 

The joke is on us every time we use Splenda, Equal or NutraSweet in an attempt to eat fewer calories when in reality they act as appetite stimulants and contribute to the obesity epidemic and chronic illnesses that are constantly on the rise.

Agave Nectar, although popular for a time, is even higher in fructose than high fructose corn syrup, thus associated with high triglycerides and liver damage.

What are healthy sweeteners?  Coconut palm sugar, Stevia and raw honey all deliver sweetness AND nutrition.  

Once you re-train your taste buds away from the super sweet hit of artificial sweeteners, fruit is a delicious and healthy way to have a sweet treat.  Go figure.  

For guidance and support on your journey to better health, contact me for a free 15 minute consultation at, or call me at 301-332-5732.