Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are everywhere these days due to being a low calorie option to sweeten foods and beverages. But like everything else, if it is artificial and not the real deal, what is it doing to our bodies? Although sweeteners do make things taste sweet without the added calories (which sugar provides) they do come with a host of side effects.


The most commonly used artificial sweetener is aspartame which has a neuro-toxic effect on the brain so it has been linked to a host of disease states such as depression, dizziness, Alzheimer’s, brain tumours and headaches. I am certainly not suggesting that you are automatically going to get a brain tumour if you use sweetener, but the toxic side effects of aspartame have been well documented.

Other artificial sweeteners include fruit acid, saccharin, cyclamate, alitame, sucralose, acesulfame-K and neotame.

Most people are attracted to artificial sweeteners because they are providing us with a lower calorie option, which means less weight gain. However, they have a strong effect

on our neuro chemistry which affects our moods. We can end up craving more carbohydrates, which could in turn lead to weight gain if the extra carbohydrates are not burnt off. Therefore, they are not really helping too much!


Foods to Watch Out For

Artificial sweeteners can be found in loads of food products so read the labels clearly: soft drinks, flavoured waters, chewing gum, diet meals, ice creams, sauces, chocolate, protein bars and desserts! Drinks are the main culprit because you can consume loads of it and still not feel full. You are more likely to down a few buddy bottles of diet soft drink without thinking twice when compared to a protein bar where you might restrict yourself to one in a day.

Healthy Options

Stevia: a South American herb which is 300 times sweeter than sugar, and zero calories.

Raw honey: nice and natural, plus a great source of minerals and has potent anti-bacterial properties.

Coconut sugar and nectar is hot on the market right now. It has a low glycemic index and tastes great! Give it a whirl next time you’re baking as it’s a great sugar substitute!

Best option: keep your food intake varied and use fruits to help sweeten more bland foods. Train your palate to enjoy more simple foods. It takes time, but eventually, you won’t even need your “sweet fix.”





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