There are countless studies that warn us against the use of artificial sweeteners. If you’re still using them, you might want to stop...alto, halt! hold-up! partner. You’re about to learn why.
Aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame K, neotame, saccharin, cyclamate - remember these names. It is best to avoid them. These modified little molecules aren’t so sweet after all. Studies show they are neurotoxins and cause a formaldehyde-type reaction in your body.
One study’s conclusion is very clear: “It is concluded that aspartame consumption may constitute a hazard because of its contribution to the formation of formaldehyde adducts”.
The Canadian Cancer Society states, “Cyclamates and saccharin in high doses have caused cancer in laboratory rats, but there is no proven link between these substances and cancer in humans. It is advisable to use the artificial sweeteners in moderation.” From carbonated beverages to packaged foods to gum, chances are you’ve chewed on more than your fair share of these toxins. It hides under different trademarked names, and sometimes they sound similar to the natural counterparts.
If these sweeteners are so dangerous, why do we use them?
Companies love to use them in products. They are cheap and profitable. Although artificial sweeteners are harmful, you can claim they are low-fat, sugar-free and can aid in weight loss. And yes, all of these are true. But there are much healthier and natural ways to eat for your health.
What are natural alternatives?
Our favourites are local honey, maple syrup, pure cane sugar, agave, coconut nectar, and the lesser known superfood: lucuma powder. These are all sweet, but also contain nutrients. If you are counting calories or need to watch your glycemic load, here are some safe alternatives for you:
Stevia comes from Brazil and Paraguay. Try the whole leaf form or a concentrate. It is very potent, so only use a little. It has no calories and is low-glycemic.
trees provide us with this sweetness. Although it is more processed than stevia, it is quickly growing in popularity. It is often in drinks, gum and toothpaste, and is touted as a cavity
fighter. Also has no calories and is low-glycemic.
Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol derived from corn, fruits and seaweed. It is reported to have a laxative effect, so if you have intestinal issues (such as IBS), then you may want to opt for some other natural substitutes.
Coconut Nectar. Harvested much like maple syrup, but not processed. It is rich in minerals and has a broad spectrum of B vitamins and 17 amino acids. Raw foodies love this sweetener! It has a higher sugar count than the others. Low-glycemic.
Lucuma Powder. I admit, it’s a personal favourite. The fruit of lucuma was known, in the ancient Peruvian culture of the Incas, as a symbol for fertility and creation. It also contains many nutrients, and the yellow variety has a maple taste. That’s right, the taste of maple without the high sugars. Very low sugar (1 g per 2 tsp) and low-glycemic.
Don’t’ be afraid of natural sweeteners, and fear not losing your favourite kinds of food and treats. With tasty chewing gum by PUR, protein powders, toothpastes and more; you might even like these products better…your body surely will.
Enjoy the sweet side of life, and practice moderation. Nurture your long-term health by avoiding unnecessary toxins.
Want to learn more about artificial sweeteners? Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World is worth the watch, and you can find it free online!