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The not so sweet pitfalls of consuming artificial sweetener

Posted Oct 27 2010 6:54pm

Time and time again I see people “enjoying” their artificially sweetened beverages/products (Diet Coke, Non-fat yoghurt, sugar-free Red Bull and other diet paraphernalia). And time and time again, my reaction is the same…Morons! Why anyone wants to fill their body with that junk, ill never know! If you are reading this with any form of artificial sweetener near your person, get rid of it! Go on….ill wait….in the bin…..good, thanks.

What is artificial sweetener?
 “A sugar substitute is a food additive that duplicates the effect of sugar in taste, usually with less food energy. Some sugar substitutes are natural and some are synthetic. Those that are not natural are, in general, called artificial sweeteners.”

Equal, Splenda, Sweet N Low are all artificial. Natural forms are Stevia and Agave. Artificial sweeteners are found in all “Diet” products: yoghurts, all low carb products; protein shakes and bars, diabetic products, sugar-free products, fizzy drinks/soda and toothpastes.

What are the dangers of using sweetener
- Cancer causing properties (studies have shown positive results in lab rats when they consumed saccharin)

- Digestive disruption (irritable bowel syndrome, vomiting, bloating, nausea, diarrhea)
- Linked to neurological disorders, including depression
- Impedes weight loss and fat loss (You are sending mixed messages to your brain. The sweetener only masks the sugar craving; many tests have shown people will consume excess at a later stage)
I don’t know about you but do I need to keep going? I’m done, I absolutely hate the stuff. It serves no nutritional purpose whatsoever in a person’s diet.

What do I use instead? Good question! We need to stop fearing sugar. In moderation sugar is fine. Try to get it in the form of fructose (fruit) and glucose (honey, maple syrup) other forms available are stevia or agave (available from health food shops). Better still just avoid adding it to everything. Have mineral water with fresh fruit juice instead of fizzy drinks. Have a punnet of blueberries or strawberries and try increasing your protein intake to reduce the sugar cravings. If you can’t deal without sugar in coffee than don’t drink it (NEWSFLASH!!! Coffee is meant to taste like…coffee, not sugar!)

As the driver of our body, we have a choice on what we put in it. Food companies are only trying to save dollars (sweetener is cheaper than sugar!), they rarely think about consumers health. Please wise up to this and realise that the last thing you need to consume is crappy products.

How long has it been since you had artificial sweetener? Days, months, years? Are you prepared to give it up?
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