In an effort to reduce calories and eat healthier, many people have been using artificial sweeteners like Equal or Splenda. These products are marketed as a healthy alternative but are actually highly toxic and should be avoided like the plague. You’ve heard the buzz about these products being bad for you but maybe you are still unclear about where you stand on the matter?
Read on as we address some of the common responses we hear from our clients when we suggest eliminating artificial sweeteners as a very necessary to for efficient and healthy weight loss.
What exactly are artificial sweeteners and how “toxic” can they really be?
Numerous studies have now shown that artificial sweeteners like Nutrasweet and Splenda are not only not healthy but they aren’t anywhere close to safe. Aspartame, the technical name for NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure, 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 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. Although it had been recommended to diabetics, it is now thought to lead to the precipitation of clinical diabetes. And splenda, the brand name for sucralose, is no better for you. Sucralose is about 600 times sweeter than sugar, so if it was sold by itself, they wouldn’t be able to package it. In order to legally package, they have to add a bulking agent, such as maltodextrin (sugar). About 99 percent of that packet of Splenda is a type of sugar, and only about one percent is actually sucralose. Each packet has four calories, but because the amount of sugar is less than one gram, they get away with saying it has “no calories” due to a loophole in the labeling law.
Okay, But I mainly just want to lose weight. How does using these products directly affect the number on my scale?
To this we say, fair question and that using artificial sweeteners in even the smallest amount will make you fat. How? Because artificial sweeteners impair your appetite regulation which leads directly to weight gain. Diet foods and drinks can cause serious distortions in your biochemistry and ruin your body’s ability to control calories. It’s been discovered that diet soda (for example) is recognized in your body as “sweet”, signaling your pancreas to release insulin and the ONLY thing the body can do with unneeded insulin is store it as FAT. Bottom line: Diet Coke (or any other artificially sweetened food) makes you a insulin producing + fat storing machine) a bad metabolic combo for anyone looking to drop pounds.
So what am I supposed to use to sweeten my tea and coffee and favorite foods?
Thankfully, there is a natural sweetener on the market that is a safe alternative to aspartame, sucralose, and refined white sugar.
To sweeten our world, we use stevia*. Stevia is a low glycemic, low carbohydrate sweetener that has been safely used for 1,500 years in South America and more recently in Japan. It is much sweeter than sugar, but has no calories, and has been shown to be very safe. Unlike aspartame and other artificial sweeteners that have been cited for dangerous toxicities, regular stevia is a safe, natural alternative that’s ideal for optimal health and weight management.
*Some people, no matter how hard they try, cannot get into the taste of stevia. To those clients, we recommend Coconut Crystals. Coconut Crystals are also an ideal alternative to sugar with a low glycemic value and delicious taste.
Where can I purchase and how do I start using Stevia (or Coconut Crystals)?
It is best to purchase Stevia a whole-leaf unprocessed stevia sweetener and avoid refined stevia-based sweeteners like Truvia and PureVia that contain maltodextrin (sugar) and other additives. Visit any local Whole Foods Market or health store to find a brand that works for you or try one of our online favorites here.
Stevia is several hundred times sweeter than sugar, so you don’t need much. It can be used in appetizers, beverages, soups, salads, vegetables, desserts — virtually anything! Follow this link and/or use the chart below for easy substitutions to effortlessly start using stevia today!
Coconut Crystals can be used as a 1-to-1 substitute in recipe and can be found online here or at your local health food store.
As always, use the community page to post any questions you have about this or any other topic. We are here to answer them all.
Much love -
MC and Bizzie