Part one of this topic covers the basic information of artificial sweeteners; background, sources, and side effects. This article will go over some of the more common artificial sweeteners in foods today. We will discuss what is actually inside of these sweeteners, where they are commonly found, and the common side effects. You might want to put down that Diet Pepsi you’re drinking and reevaluate having another one after reading this blog post.
- Similarly to MSG, aspartame is thought to overstimulate the nerve cells in the brain. Two amino acids, phenylalanine and aspartic acid combine with methanol to make this sweetener. These ingredients can stay in your bodys, liver, kidneys and brain specifically, for quite some time. Equal and Nutrasweet are examples of this. Aspartame has the ability to impair memory and may even predispose babies to metabolic syndrome disorders. Side effects of aspartame include headaches, migraines, dizziness, and mood swings.
- This sweetener is made from petroleum. Animal studies has shown that is causes skin, bladder, uterus, ovarian and other organ cancers, but the FDA removed the warning from its label. The side effects of saccharine (sweet’n low) include nausea, tachycardia, and upset stomach. It is common in many children chewable aspirins, vitamins, cough syrup, and other over-the-counter medications.
- The human body is actually unable to metabolize sucralose, making it zero calories. It starts as sugar, but is chemically altered with chlorine. Yep -CHLORINE! The well-known sweetener, Splenda, is made from sucralose. As talked about in Part I, sucralose can contribute to an addiction to extremely sweet foods and drinks. Cooking with sucralose has negative effects. High temperatures have the potential to trigger toxic compounds.
- This groups includes the sugar alcohols that end in -itol; erythritol, maltitol, sorbitol etc. Some of these are not absorbed by the body very well and may cause gastrointestinal side effects. They often produce a laxative effect. Sugar alcohols are also life-threatening to dogs. Be careful when you give your pup your leftovers!
Erythritol is a well-tolerated sugar alcohol. It does not induce a large insulin response which helps manage hunger and weight loss. Replacing sugar with this sugar alcohol does not change the glucose metabolism in the body. Gut movement is slightly changed when erythritol is consumed; it takes food longer to move from the stomach to the small intestine. That being said, those who eat a product containing erythritol show that they feel more full versus those who eat regular sugar. When considering diabetics, erythritol has improved blood sugar levels. Not to mention, it is great for dental health.
- This herb from South and Central America is quite strong; just a couple drops mimic the taste of a whole cup of sugar, yet has zero calories. Just to clarify, this is not an artificial sweetener, but is often grouped amongst them. Stevia is not used for nutritional benefits; it is more used for taste. Some benefits of using Stevia are that it does not increase appetite and reduces blood glucose. It also increases insulin sensitivity and secretion. Using a pure Stevia product is a great sugar substitution.
Too Busy Bullets
- Artificial sweeteners are responsible for uncomfortable side effects.
- Limit your intake of aspartame, saccharine, sucralose, and certain sugar alcohols.
- Erythritol and Stevia are two of the well-tolerated sweeteners.
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