Benefits or Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners
Why should you even try an artificial sweetener? Do you really want to eat food created in a lab instead of in nature?
It´s supposedly harmless, but it´s linked to diabetes and heart disease. Basically, people eat artificial sweeteners because they are overweight, or have a blood sugar problem or sugar addiction. They want the benefits of sugar without guilt. They believe that artificial sweeteners will help them lose weight or keep their blood sugar in order.
The most popular ones are aspartame, sucralose (Splenda) and saccharine, which are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar. But there are many more that hide in processed food, like acesulfate potassium, neutame and isomalt.
When you eat artificial sweeteners your body feels as if sugar is entering so it starts getting ready to digest it, to get the energy out of its calories. But there are no calories, there is no energy. You produce insulin for nothing, so your body gets confused. By the time you eat something with real sugar, your body wont react to it and you´ll start to develop hormonal imbalances and accumulate fat.
Practically, artificial sweeteners numb your taste buds so you can´t feel food´s real flavors. Kind of the same thing MSG and refined salt does. You get so used to use these flavor changers that when you don´t have them, food doesn´t taste good to you.
Let´s talk about what aspartame does to you (similar things go for the other artificial sweeteners).
Maybe you´ve heard that aspartame is made of amino-acids and you probably believe amino acids are the best for us (it´s protein, isn´t it?). It´s true, we need amino acids, but in balanced forms and in the right amounts. Artificial sweeteners provide a high concentration of them and our body quickly breaks them into their free forms.
This overflows our central nervous system and can lead to depression, dizziness, migraines, seizures and even death. This is called exitotoxicity (kills your brain cells by exitedment and is linked to neurodegenerative diseases). Our body doesn´t recognize these amino acids in their free form so it tries to metabolize them and absorb them fully into our cells.
What´s harmful to us are their carcinogenic byproducts from metabolizing them. Basically, formaldehyde (paint remover) accumulates in your cells.
Further more, phenylalanine is aspartame´s main ingredient. This is an amino acid that works as a neurotransmitter that regulates our brain chemistry. This sounds good, but, the excess of phenylalanine that aspartame brings, cause brain imbalances that can result in severe psychiatric and physical problems. In other words, aspartame messes up you nervous system and brain, big time!
And we haven’t mentioned aspartic acid (aspartame´s second element)! It contributes to the exitotoxicity just like MSG and develop into brain attacking free radicals.
But what are artificial sweeteners made of? Aren´t they derived from natural sources? Well, everything on planet Earth, even the most artificial and chemically processed objects come originally from a natural source. Everything comes from the Earth. But, that doesn´t mean it´s natural. Artificial sweeteners come mainly from GMO crops like corn, but even if you can get some more “natural” sweeteners that don´t come from GMO´s, they are highly processed and refined.
For example, stevia. Stevia has become super popular. Every other natural health “expert” swears by it. Stevia is a bush and its leafs are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar. If you can get fresh or dried leafs, perfect. That would be your alternative sweetener. Even grounded dried leafs (a green powder) is great.
But, most stevia products that you can find aren´t leafs and aren´t green. White powder, white crystals or transparent or colorful liquids. These products, even if they are labelled as natural, healthy stevia, are not. They are just the same poison as aspartame. Highly refined, purified and processed items that big “health” companies market as good for you. Same goes with xylitol (common, it´s just incredible how even extreme raw-vegan gurus recommend consuming this highly refined white crystals!).
But, you might be overweight, and you might think: I don´t care about my mental health, I just care about losing weight. Artificial sweeteners, without any calories, will probably help you to lose weight? The answer is NO. By the contrary, you will just get more fat. Haven´t you noticed that mainly fat people take artificial sweeteners and they are getting more fat?
Aspartame stimulates insulin and leptin production, which order your body to store fat. At the same time, they push down your serotonin levels so you don´t feel full and your food cravings grow.
So, what should you do?
1) Artificial sweeteners never again
2) Use green stevia or fresh/dried/powdered yacon
3) Use small amounts of raw honey or maple syrup
4) Eat and use fruits!