Z-D, Splenda, Equal And Other Artificial Sweeteners

People are asking me to write more on artificial sweeteners, especially Splenda. I have read tons of articles, both for and against, and am finally ready to contribute to this subject. Jon Gabriel has contributed much to my findings that I will share with you here. He has a web site that may work for some, but I question how far he went in looking for the right answer and certainly I know not any one plan is for everyone. Even so, his tremendous weigh loss is impressive and we congratulate him on his success!  For that reason, I will put a link to his site here in case you’d like to check him out for yourself and perhaps even use his methods.  http://www.thegabrielmethod.com/

What are artificial sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners can be used instead of sugar to sweeten foods and drinks. You can add them to drinks like coffee or iced tea, and they are found in many foods sold in grocery stores. These sweeteners, also called sugar substitutes, are made from chemicals and natural substances. The bottom line is– they are not good for us! It is a proven fact that artificial anything is not real food and often has unwanted side effects.

Sugar substitutes have very few calories compared to sugar. Some have no calories. Many people use sugar substitutes as a way to limit how much sugar they eat, whether it’s to lose weight, control blood sugar, or avoid getting cavities in their teeth.

The most common sugar substitutes are:

  • Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet). It’s mostly used to sweeten diet soft drinks.
  • Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low, Sugar Twin). It’s used in many diet foods and drinks.
  • Sucralose (Splenda). It’s in many diet foods and drinks.
  • Acesulfame K (Sunett). It’s often combined with saccharin in diet soft drinks.

Sugar alcohols are also used to sweeten diet foods and drinks. They are not harmful in the same ways the sweeteners above are, since they are plant-based, but are still harmful since they have been processed and no longer are a natural plant, but are now considered a chemical. These products include mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol. If you eat too much of them, sugar alcohols can cause diarrhea, bloating, and weight gain, which is not a desirable health issue for us, is it? The natural stevia plant seems to be the best way to sweeten and not gain weight or become ill. After doing a study on it we recommend NuStevia.

If your goal is to lose weight, keep in mind that even though a food is sugar-free, it can still be high in carbohydrates, and may include trans-fats. Some Doctors are now telling us not to count calories, but just carbs. This is because a nice big juicy steak with all its fat will not put any weight on us, but the same amount of calories in potatoes, rice and breads will. It’s a good idea to read the ingredients label to check for just what is in this sugar-free food– you could be surprised- and choose not to consume it!

Are sugar substitutes safe?

Yes and No. They don’t kill you- at least not right away, but you may start to notice unhealthy things in your body. I had a Doctor warn me about Equal (Aspartame) when I had terrible things happening within my body. He said too much of that product was causing Alzheimer’s in some people. The FDA regulates the use of artificial sweeteners and had said it was safe when used in small enough amounts. Their idea of a small amount was far less than most people who use these products consume. I expect rat poison wouldn’t kill you if you only got a very tiny amount, but I wouldn’t want to push my luck. That was when I totally stopped consuming anything with Aspartame in it and stopped trusting the FDA to tell me what’s safe. I’ve now made a decision- if God made it, I’ll eat it. If man made it, I’ll check the ingredients and probably won’t.

Want More Info On Why Splenda® Is Bad For You?

Some sources say that Splenda® (sucralose) contains chlorine, which is a proven carcinogen. Others say that it contains as much chlorine as common table salt. That is up for debate, but before sucralose was formally approved, research showed that it caused shrunken thymus glands (up to 40% shrinkage) and enlarged liver and kidneys. Do you want to risk that?

Research conducted since then documents numbness of male rats’ hind legs, as well as negative effects on the livers, spleens and kidneys of laboratory animals.

Additional research has shown that artificial sweeteners may actually stimulate appetite. That’s a real blow to anyone trying to lose weight by using these sugar substitutes!

User Reports of the Danger of Splenda®

According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, many of his patients have noticed the following symptoms within 24-hours of eating Splenda® products:

o Skin — Redness, itching, swelling, blistering, weeping, crusting, rash, eruptions, or hives (itchy bumps or welts). This is the most common allergic symptom that people have.
o Lungs — Wheezing, tightness, cough, or shortness of breath.
o Head — Swelling of the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, or throat; headaches and migraines (severe headaches).
o Nose — Stuffy nose, runny nose (clear, thin discharge), sneezing.
o Eyes — Red (bloodshot), itchy, swollen, or watery.
o Stomach — Bloating, gas, pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or bloody diarrhea.
o Heart — Palpitations or fluttering.
o Joints — Joint pains or aches.
o Neurological — Anxiety, dizziness, spaced-out sensation, depression.

Even though Dr. Mercola has many pages of testimonials from his readers who feel that there are dangers to using Splenda®, and that they have been harmed by this sweetener, he has also received reports from many readers saying they have used it for years and feel no ill effects.

While Splenda® may be safer than Aspartame (NutraSweet®, Equal®)– which is linked to leukemia and lymphoma, there still has not been enough convincing evidence to prove Splenda®’s safety.

You must decide for yourself if you want to ingest this substance. There is a natural alternative to artificial sweeteners that Dr. Mercola prefers and uses. We recommend it too, and that is Stevia.

Are You A Concerned Diabetic?  Is Stevia and Sorbitol The Right Answer For You?

Other countries and diabetics have both taught us a lot about controlling insulin naturally. For many years, diabetics have used products sweetened with polyalcohol sugars like sorbitol, xylitol, malitol, and mannitol. These are natural sweeteners that do not trigger an insulin reaction. (Xylitol can be derived from birch tree pulp.) They have half the calories of sugar and are not digested by the small intestine.

While most polyalcohol sugars have no side effects for many, sorbitol is a natural laxative and can cause diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating and flatulence.

For this reason, we recommend the herb stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) over sorbitol as a natural sweetener. Known in South America as the “sweet herb,” stevia has been used for over 400 years without ill effect. Stevia has been enormously popular in Japan, where it has been in use for more than 20 years, now rivaling Equal and Sweet ’N Low. It’s 200–300 times sweeter than sugar, so just a small portion of stevia will sweeten even a strong cup of tea.

We’ve known about stevia in the US since 1918, but pressure from the sugar import trade blocked its use as a commodity. Today stevia is slowly gaining steam as a sugar substitute, despite similar hurdles. The FDA has approved its use as a food supplement, but since they don’t do studies on products that are not drugs, you will have to go elsewhere for such studies. Stevia can be used for anything you might use sugar in, including baking. It is naturally low in carbohydrates. You can buy stevia at most health food stores and over the web. There will always be those who have a sensitivity to a substance, but based on reports from other countries it appears to have little to no side effects. For women who want to move through their cravings for sugar without artificial chemicals, stevia is a great option.  Stevia (SweetLeaf, NuNaturals), is from an herbal plant, so since God made it, we can safely eat it! After doing a ‘taste study’ of our own, we find we prefer NuNaturals NuStevia, since SweetLeaf tends to clump in our drinks. You can find them at most grocery outlets, or go to Amazon, where you will discover several packaging options and great prices! Having shared this, do be careful and read labels. Some companies are adding things to it in order to sell more and fatten their bottom line.

TO YOUR GOOD HEALTH!

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