That would be artificial sweeteners Splenda (sucralose), Equal (aspartame) and Sweet’N Low (saccharin). I’m sure you have seem them sitting cozy in their containers on restaurant tables, or at work next to the coffee machines. With increased sugar consumption came obesity, diabetes and other health issues. The companies that produce these sweeteners think they are the solution to today’s problem. HA, I think not! They are marketed as hundreds of times sweeter than sugar and even better, calorie free … Sounds like a win win situation right? Why wouldn’t you switch over, right? Well … DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE.
What’s interesting is that all of these sweeteners were created by ACCIDENT. Which means a person in a white lab coat created them with chemicals and test tubes. Splenda as a result of a scientist trying to create a pesticide (DDT), Aspartame as a result of a scientist trying to create an anti-ulcer drug and Saccharin by a chemical accidently falling onto a scientist’s hand and him noticing the sweetness (by licking it.) That should raise major red flags in your eyes. Most research studies show that long-term use of these sweeteners may result in the following:
- Weight gain
- Neurological issues
- Premature Death
- Digestive Issues
Now you won’t only see these culprits on tables at restaurants. These companies are quite clever as they continue to prey on people’s vulnerability and emotional connection with weight loss and health issues. They are in many products that you may consume today such as:
- Diet sodas / soft drinks
- Baked goods
- Protein Shakes
- Salad Dressings
- Gelatin desserts
- Sugar-free goods
- Pharmaceutical drugs and supplements
Sugar addictions are real; in fact research shows sugar could be just as addicting as heroin. That’s because sugar increases opioids in your brain that produces happy feelings, same for drugs like heroin. I understand the desperation to find a no-calorie “close to sugar” alternative while dieting or to try and stop your cravings. But artificial sweeteners are not the answer. A research study done at Purdue University showed that rats ate more when fed artificially sweetened liquids than rats that were fed regular high-calorie sweetened drinks. It suggests that when we try to trick our bodies by using artificial sweeteners the body registers as you cheating. That means the body will still want to make up for the calories later. You know what happens after that, weight gain.
So what alternatives can you use? I would suggest sticking to NATURAL alternatives such as:
- Raw Coconut Nectar (in moderation)
- Raw Honey (in moderation)
- Raw Sugar (in moderation)
Just know you can’t break a sugar addiction by replacing it with artificial sweeteners. Eat sugar in moderation and allow your body to slowly get used to the changes. Also keep in mind your body wasn’t designed to metabolize “fake ish” so stick to whole foods, the ones found in their unprocessed state.
I would love to hear from you, feel free to comment below.
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Vanessa Cunningham is a Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach and dynamic speaker based in New York City. She helps her clients get out of their own way and take charge of their health and wellness. Trained in over 100 dietary theories, Vanessa creates customized plans for all her clients that are fun, sustainable and empower them to meet their goals.
If you are ready to take that first step towards living a healthier and more fulfilling life, apply for a health consultation with me.