I could write a whole book on why artificial sweeteners (a.k.a. nasty chemicals) are quite possibly the worst thing you could put into your body, but for now I’ll just give you the short version.
The reason artificial sweeteners don’t have any calories is because the body doesn’t recognize them as food, and therefore can’t digest them. The issue here is that because they’re not digested, they become lodged in your digestive system and, in some cases, circulate through your body wreaking havoc on what they come in contact with.
Numerous health issues, including headaches, nausea, hearing loss, skin conditions, dizziness, fatigue and chest pains have been associated with the consumption of artificial sweeteners1. Newer studies even indicate that artificial sweeteners can kill the good bacteria in your digestive system, depressing your immune system and making you more susceptible to illness.
Currently, there are five artificial sweeteners approved by the FDA:
1. Aspartame, sold under the brand names NutraSweet® and Equal®
2. Saccharin, sold under the brand name Sweet’N Low®
3. Sucralose, which is a sugar molecule with chlorine added to it, sold under the brand name Splenda®
4. Acesulfame K (or acesulfame potassium), produced by Hoechst, a German chemical company; widely used in foods, beverages and pharmaceutical products around the world.
5. Neotame, produced by the NutraSweet Company; the most recent addition to FDA’s list of approved artificial sweeteners, neotame is used in diet soft drinks and low-calorie foods.
I highly recommend that you avoid these artificial sweeteners and any food containing them.
If you’re looking for a natural, no calorie sweetener, pure stevia is your best bet.
Stevia comes from the stevia plant and is at least 100 times sweeter than sugar. I prefer the liquid form to the powder and use only a small amount (5-6 drops) as too much will end up tasting bitter (Sweatleaf is my favorite brand).
(The above is an exerpt from my book, WholeEating Cookbook. Check it out here on Amazon for more tips and healthy recipes.)
(1) Colbin, Annemarie. “Aspartame: The Real Story.” Food And Healing. (1997)
To Your Healthy Body!