Artificial Sweeteners

sweeteners

A vast majority of people at any given time want to lose weight. Unfortunately, few people have training in nutrition or exercise. Therefore, most of us don’t know what is valid and what is invalid and wrong when evaluating a weight loss, exercise, or nutrition program.

Unfortunately, there are many companies out there looking to take advantage of uneducated consumers who are desperate to lose weight.

Why else would something like aspartame still be legal and allowed to be used in so many different types of foods?

Aspartame is used in over 6,000 products worldwide. The Coca-Cola company uses aspartame in its diet soda. There has been so much public outcry against aspartame that Coca-Cola produced an aspartame safety page in its health and wellness institute.

In this page, Coca-Cola writes that when consumed, aspartame breaks down to aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. Methanol is found in many foods such as milk, meat, dried beans, fruits and vegetables. The methanol in these foods is safe because it is bound to pectin. When methanol is bound to pectin, it can pass safely through your digestive tract.

If methanol is not bound to pectin, then your body will convert the methanol to formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a horribly toxic and cancerous compound used to preserve dead bodies. Humans, unlike other animals, are incapable of converting formaldehyde into formic acid, which is harmless.

When consumed, methanol travels throughout the body to susceptible tissues such as brain and bone marrow. This is where alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) converts methanol into formaldehyde, which wreaks havoc on proteins and DNA. Methanol is then free to cause large amounts of damage to your tissues and body.

Symptoms from methanol can include: headaches, ear buzzing, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, memory lapses, numbness, shooting pains, neuritis, misty vision, blurry vision, obscuration of vision, retinal damage, and even blindness. Formaldehyde is a well known carcinogen that can cause retinal damage, interfere with DNA replication and can cause birth defects.

Those are all reasons why aspartame is the leading cause of side effect complaints to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. There have been over 10,000 complaints filed and over 91 symptoms documented related to aspartame’s consumption. In 1996, 60 Minute’s Mike Wallace did a piece on aspartame. In it he said that the approval of aspartame was the most contested in FDA history. Aspartame’s presence in the food market was, and still is, largely political.

The longest ever human study on aspartame spanned 22 years. This study found a clear association between aspartame consumption and non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and leukemia. They also found a clear association between diet soda intake and leukemia.

These are all reasons why companies who rely on aspartame to make their products sweeter try hard to justify their use of the chemical, and the chemical’s safety. That is why Coca-Cola produced an aspartame safety page.

Aspartame is an inexpensive way for processed food companies to make their products taste good, without increasing the sugar and calorie count. Aspartame is 500 times sweeter than sugar is. This is why it is easy to get accustomed to the hyper-sweetness of artificially flavored foods. Once you get accustomed to their sweetness, then regularly sweetened foods will seem bland and tasteless.

If you consume a lot of artificially flavored foods then you have to slowly reduce them and slowly decrease your consumption of these foods. You can re-adjust your tastebuds to become accustomed to regular sugar. You can reprogram your taste buds to appreciate less sweetened foods, rather than need the hyper-sweetness of artificial sweeteners. This process does take time, just as it took time for your taste buds to become accustomed to the hyper sweetness of artificial sweeteners.

On top of all of these side effects, artificial sweeteners do not help you to lose weight. There has never been a study linking weight loss to the use of artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners do not make it any easier to lose weight. As a matter of fact, information has come out recently showing that artificial sweeteners make it harder to lose weight.

The theory is that if you are craving something sweet, and eat something artificially sweetened, then your body is expecting a sugar rush and energy rush from the sweetened food. Once you eat artificially sweetened foods and your brain doesn’t get any of the energy from the sugar rush that it was expecting, you can become more lethargic and therefore set you up to crave more sweetened foods. Thus eating artificial sweeteners can actually make you crave more sugary and sweetened foods in the long run.

Be smart about what you eat. Know the effects of what you are putting into your body. Don’t make it harder to get into shape and lose weight than it has to be. Eat healthy, non-processed, natural foods with little or no chemicals in them. Eat more plant based foods than animal based foods. It just makes sense. That is the Pain Free Way.

Here are a few other articles that I wrote concerning the topic of artificial sweeteners:

Soda

Another Reason To Avoid Artificial Sweeteners

Dieting Mistakes

Artificial Sweeteners: Helpful Or Harmful?

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