Sugar has become Public Enemy Number One in the world of nutrition, leading many consumers to eager select artificial sweeteners in their effort to avoid real sugar. While cutting back on added sugar intake is a worthwhile goal, artificial sweeteners may not be a better alternative! The truth is, artificial sweeteners have dangers lurking beneath the surface, including links to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and a number of other health risks. Artificial sweeteners are tempting because they don’t contain any calories, but still provide powerful sweetness. However, this is a dangerous combination. These non-nutritive sweeteners provide no sense of fullness or satisfaction, yet they simultaneously retrain the taste buds to require more and more sweetness. As a result, people end up eating and drinking too much, becoming addicted to sweet treats, and gaining weight.
Millions of Americans gobble down diet sodas, artificial sweeteners and thousands of other products that contain huge amounts of aspartame and never even imagine that they could literally be destroying their health. Aspartame was discovered by accident in 1965 when James Schlatter, a chemist for G.D. Searle & Company, was testing an anti-ulcer drug. It is the most common sweetening additive being used in over 6,000 consumer foods, beverages, multivitamins, frozen desserts, cereals, pharmaceutical products, and artificial sweeteners sold worldwide.
A study published on March 24/2022 supports past research that shows artificial sweeteners can increase your risk of cancer. Many people make the mistake of believing that since artificially sweetened products have fewer calories and no sugar, they, therefore, must be healthier.
Yet, there is mounting evidence that the rising rates of obesity and cardiovascular disease are linked to consuming food products with artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners became more popular after thousands of studies over many decades showed that sugar damages your health.
As the sugar industry has successfully manipulated the evidence and misdirected the public, it also created a demand for artificial sweeteners with zero calories.
Sugar-sweetened beverages are the leading source of added sugar in the U.S., estimated to account for 341.1 calories from drinks in an adult’s diet and 312.6 calories in a child’s diet every single day. Despite this damaging evidence, sales have continued to rise, from $314.4 million in 2013 to $414.8 million in 2021.
This offers further evidence of both the addictive quality of sugar and artificially sweetened food and drink and the effectiveness of the sugar industry’s ability to hide the evidence.
One thing that many Americans do not realize is that Donald Rumsfeld played a key role in pushing the approval of aspartame through the FDA. Donald Rumsfeld became the chief executive officer of worldwide pharmaceutical giant G.D. Searle & Company (later bought out by Monsanto) in 1977, 12 years after aspartame was discovered. In 1981, after over 15 years of continual FDA disapproval of aspartame, Rumsfeld stated in a Searle sales meeting that he would use “political rather than scientific means” to finally get the FDA to approve the sweetener. That is just what happened, as aspartame was finally approved shortly after the beginning of the Reagan administration despite the huge objections of some in the scientific community.
What is Aspartame?
While it has a very sweet taste, the truth is that aspartame is much worse for you than sugar is. Out of 90 independently-funded studies on aspartame, 83 of them found that the artificial sweetener causes one or more serious health problems.
Aspartame contains three very insidious components: methanol, phenylalanine, and aspartic acid. All three of these chemicals have each been shown to either stimulate brain cells to death, severely disrupt hormone balances in the brain or act as a dangerous nerve poison.
Aspartame is an NMDA receptor antagonist, which means that it inhibits the release of neurotransmitters that cause pain within the body. NMDA receptor antagonists are often used as a form of anesthesia for animals, but not on humans due to the fact that they often cause brain damage in rodents. The possible side effects of aspartame on humans include headaches, brain tumors, brain lesions, and lymphoma.
Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious including seizures and death. A few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed in the report as being caused by aspartame include: Headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.
According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, the following chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame: Brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, parkinson’s disease, alzheimer’s, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes.
The dangers of aspartame poisoning have been a well guarded secret since the 1980s. The research and history of aspartame is conclusive as a cause of illness and toxic reactions in the human body. Aspartame is a dangerous chemical food additive, and its use during pregnancy and by children is one of the greatest modern tragedies of all.
Aspartame is a man-made, high intensity, non-caloric sweetener, used extensively worldwide in over 5,000 products. When the temperature of Aspartame exceeds 86 degrees F, the wood alcohol in ASPARTAME coverts to formaldehyde and then to formic acid, which in turn causes metabolic acidosis. (Formic acid is the poison found in the sting of fire ants.)
Methanol toxicity mimics multiple sclerosis; thus, many people are being diagnosed with having multiple sclerosis in error. The multiple sclerosis is not a death sentence, where methanol toxicity is. It is a slow silent killer. The EPA recently announced that there was an epidemic of multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus across the United States.
Why haven’t you heard about aspartame poisoning before? Partly because the diet industry is worth trillions of American dollars to corporations, and they want to protect their profits by keeping the truth behind aspartame’s dangers hidden from the public. When NutraSweet® was introduced for the ‘second’ time in 1981, a diet craze revolutionized America’s eating protocols and a well-oiled money machine was set into motion changing modern lifestyles.
A few of the many chronic illnesses that have been shown to be contributed to by long-term exposure to excitatory amino acid damage include:
- blindness in one or both eyes
- decreased vision and/or other eye problems such as: blurring, bright flashes, squiggly lines, tunnel vision, decreased night vision
- pain in one or both eyes
- decreased tears
- trouble with contact lenses
- bulging eyes
- tinnitus – ringing or buzzing sound
- severe intolerance of noise
- marked hearing impairment
- epileptic seizures
- headaches, migraines and (some severe)
- dizziness, unsteadiness, both
- confusion, memory loss, both
- severe drowsiness and sleepiness
- paresthesia or numbness of the limbs
- severe slurring of speech
- severe hyperactivity and restless legs
- atypical facial pain
- severe tremors
- severe depression
- personality changes
- palpitations, tachycardia
- shortness of breath
- recent high blood pressure
- diarrhea, sometimes with blood in stools
- abdominal pain
- pain when swallowing
Skin and Allergies:
- itching without a rash
- lip and mouth reactions
- aggravated respiratory allergies such as asthma
Endocrine and Metabolic:
- loss of control of diabetes
- menstrual changes
- marked thinning or loss of hair
- marked weight loss
- gradual weight gain
- aggravated low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- severe PMS
- frequency of voiding and burning during urination
- excessive thirst, fluid retention, leg swelling, and bloating
- increased susceptibility to infection
Additional Symptoms of Aspartame Toxicity include the most critical symptoms of all:
- irreversible brain damage
- birth defects, including mental retardation
- peptic ulcers
- aspartame addiction and increased craving for sweets
- hyperactivity in children
- severe depression
- aggressive behavior
- suicidal tendencies
Aspartame may trigger, mimic, or cause the following illnesses:
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Post-Polio Syndrome
- Lyme Disease
- Grave’s Disease
- Meniere’s Disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Mercury sensitivity from Amalgam fillings
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
These are not allergies or sensitivities, but diseases and disease syndromes. Aspartame poisoning is commonly misdiagnosed because aspartame symptoms mock textbook ‘disease’ symptoms, such as Grave’s Disease.
Aspartame changes the ratio of amino acids in the blood, blocking or lowering the levels of serotonin, tyrosine, dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline. Therefore, it is typical that aspartame symptoms cannot be detected in lab tests and on x-rays. Textbook disorders and diseases may actually be a toxic load as a result of aspartame poisoning.
The Ultimate List Of Artificial Sweeteners ~ Aspartame is the Most Popular
Let’s start with aspartame, which is the most popular artificial sweetener used. It’s found in most of diet sodas, desserts, and table top sweeteners. If you want something extra sweet, then this is the one that you want to reach for.
However, the chemical components in aspartame will break down when exposed to both air and heat. It’s also one of the most controversial, with studies showing that it has been linked to various health problems, including depression, anxiety, and cancer. The studies are so convincing that Pepsi chose to reformulate its drinks to avoid the sweetener completely, although claimed that the sweetener wasn’t bad for the health. Some of the more common side effects noticed from using this sweetener include headaches and migraines, dizziness, and severe mood swings.
The sweetener includes methanol and aspartic acid, among the chemicals that create it. These chemicals are toxic to the organs. Patients with phenylketonuria (PKU) should avoid aspartame. It contains phenylalanine, which is known to make your condition worse. When breaking down in the body, aspartame can also generate methanol in the body, through the process of hydrolysis.
Studies are ongoing. While many countries approve it, the approval is continually being reviewed, especially by the European Union.
Sucralose Isn’t That Much Better
While aspartame is bad, it doesn’t make all the other artificial sweeteners better. If aspartame isn’t used, you’ll mostly see sucralose on the ingredients list. This is much sweeter than aspartame and made from regular sucrose. How doesn’t it cause the same issues as sucrose? The chemical makeup creates an ingredient that the body doesn’t recognize as sugar. The most common type of sucralose in the house is the brand Splenda.
Sucralose is a chlorinated derivative. Yes, you’re adding chlorine to your meals, which is one of the most toxic ingredients known. It’s used in insecticide, while was never supposed to be consumed by humans. Think about how chlorine is used: in swimming pools to clean out the water.
The ingredients can be metabolized. While the body doesn’t recognize it as sugar, it doesn’t mean that it can’t metabolize and use it. Unfortunately, the toxic ingredients get into the system by doing this.
They Banned Saccharin
In some parts of the world like Canada, Saccharin is banned. However, it is still used in the United States, and you’ll find it in Sugar Twin and Sweet’N Low brands. It’s not as sweet as sucralose, but it’s still damaging. If left in the heat, you can get a metallic aftertaste, partially due to the compound breakdown.
Despite studies showing a possible risk of bladder cancer, this sweetener is still usually found in children’s medication to encourage them to take it! There used to be a warning about bladder cancer, but the FDA approved the removal of it. Some of the other side effects include bowel trouble, bloating, cramping, and gas.
The Sweetest of the Bunch is Neotame
Out of all the sweeteners, if you want something that is extremely sweet then you want Neotame. It’s also better than others for stability in heat, which is why it’s used in most of baked goods on the market. But does this mean it’s good for you?
Under the brand name NutraSweet, it’s classed as an E number in Europe. E numbers are known for causing hyperactivity in children. The sweetener metabolizes quickly, although it has a lower impact on the blood sugar levels compared to sugar. Chemically it is made up similarly to aspartame. It uses a range of chemicals to create a similar taste, including aspartic acid and peptidases. Neotame is ranked “safe,” despite some of the ingredients. It’s also approved around the world, suggesting that it is a healthier alternative to sucralose and aspartame.
Aspartame Regularly Combines With Acesulfame Potassium
If you find aspartame on a list of ingredients, you’ll also want to look out for acesulfame potassium. This artificial sweetener is usually used in combination with the aspartame to create something sweeter. It’s commonly used in diet drinks, no-added-sugar products, and chewing gum. It’s also found in Sunett and is sometimes referred to as acesulfame K as K is the symbol for potassium.
This is one of the safer artificial sweeteners on the market and is regularly recommended to diabetes patients. It doesn’t breakdown in heat, making it suitable for baking, and doesn’t increase the blood sugar levels.
The kidney excretes the sweetener, which helps to remove any toxicity from the chemicals. They don’t metabolize in the body as much. However, studies show that over consumption is dangerous. Studies do show that it can cause some cancers. It has also been linked to irritability and mood swings.
The chemicals have been shown to affect the metabolism negatively. It can cause the metabolism to slow down, making people more likely to gain weight. There are also worries that it increases the risk of Type II diabetes, despite helping to overcome Type I diabetes.
Advantame is the Newest Sweetener
The latest sweetener to get approval from the FDA is advantage. This is the sweetest of all, especially compared to regular sugar! It’s a derivative of aspartame, which has led to some questions about its safety. It is also synthesized from isovanillin, which is an organic compound. It metabolizes into isovanillic acid and can be used in the synthesis of morphine. Studies are still ongoing as this is so new. The good news is that there are currently no signs of it being a carcinogenic, despite the aspartame derivatives.
Get Sugar Alcohols From Xylitol
The last popular artificial sweetener on the list is xylitol, which is a mixture of sugar alcohols. If you see anything with itol at the end, you can guess that it will be in this artificial option. Some of the chemicals include sorbitol, maltitol, and erythritol.
The body finds it hard to absorb the sugar alcohols. Instead, allergic reactions occur, and that leads to inflammation within the body. There are various side effects to this, including stomach upsets, digestive issues, and mood swings. The more you ingest, the more sensitive you will become to it. The side effects just get worse. There is also a laxative effect to xylitol. This means that you’ll find it in the majority of over the counter laxatives for your dietary needs.
Doctors recommend against using it during pregnancy and breastfeeding, due to the lack of research. Vets will also recommend it against animals, as it is life-threatening. Frozen desserts, sugar-free chewing gum, and some candies will include it.
Opt For Natural Sweeteners Instead
Just because you’re avoiding sugar doesn’t mean you must put up with some potentially life threatening and damaging health ingredients. You don’t need to add artificial sweeteners to your coffee, desserts, or meals. There are natural options available. Natural sugars get an unfairly bad reputation. Sure, orange juice isn’t great for you, but it’s better than using some of the artificial sweeteners. Oranges when eaten don’t cause the same problems as orange juice, either. You get the pulp to give you the fiber, which helps to slow down the metabolizing of the natural sugars and avoids a spike in your blood sugar levels. But you don’t want to put oranges in your coffee, right?
Opt For Coconut Oil and Raw Honey in Baking ~ When you want something for baking, look at a range of naturally sweet ingredients instead. Coconut oil, raw honey, maple syrup and coconut palm sugar are all good options. The sugars are starchy or fibrous, which helps to keep them from metabolizing in the blood stream.
They don’t offer many side effects, if you don’t eat too much. However, you will need to make sure you get raw ingredients. The manufactured honey in the grocery store is full of added sugar to make it taste sweeter. Avoid it as the additives get rid of all the health benefits.
While getting naturally sweet ingredients, you improve your overall health. The foods include extra vitamins and minerals and antioxidants. You gain benefits over your physical and mental health due to all these benefits.
Get a Natural Sugar Substitute From Stevia ~ This is a completely natural and derived from plants. It is sweeter than actual sugar, and almost on a level of aspartame. The benefit is that Stevia is both heat- and pH-stable, and offers a range of benefits to your health. It won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar levels and has no toxic ingredients to damage your liver or kidneys. One of the downsides are some have an aftertaste. It can be bitter and often needs to be mixed with something else to avoid that.
It’s not just the United States that allows the use of Stevia. The European Union and Japan have both approved it for use due to positive studies. Other countries also approve it for use, and you can use it just like you would sucralose and aspartame. It’s available under the brand name Truvia.
Try Out Some Date Sugar ~ Ground up your dried dates and use that as your sugar. It can take a little extra work, but it’s worth it. Why grounding up the dates, you’re keeping the fibrous elements. This makes the sugar far better for your health in the long-run.
Let’s not also forget – dates are full of iron, copper, selenium, calcium, and potassium. They support every single part of your body. You can add some to your coffee if you’d like, but some brands of date sugar might not dissolve in liquids. It’s best in your oatmeal, yogurts, or on top of baked goods.
Use the Sugar Waste ~ When sugar is created, there is a waste that is commonly thrown away. However, it has recently been used to create molasses, which is another sweet option to use. Despite it being made up of sugar waste, it’s good for your health. It doesn’t have the same component breakdown in the body that causes higher blood sugar levels.
Black strap molasses is the best option for you and is full of antioxidants and a variety of nutrients to help support the whole health. It will also dissolve in liquid, which means it’s good for coffee. It’s not overly sweet, but it will work for most of your needs. If you want some sweetness, you can substitute some of your artificial or real sugar for it to at least curb some of the damage.
Choose Artificial Sweeteners Carefully
If you really can’t curb the sugar cravings, look out for the artificial sweeteners that you use. You want to curb the use of the dangerous ones. Aspartame and Sucralose have some of the most damaging research, but there are others out there that are both popular and damage-effective. They have been linked to cancer, dementia, and other health problems.
What can you use instead of artificial sweeteners? Stevia is a healthy alternative to sugar and aspartame and can be found in health food stores and many grocery stores – I get mine from Amazon because they always have a huge selection (link below).
Source for list of the ultimate sweeteners: PositiveHealthWellness.com