Artificial Sweeteners Redux

Someone told me today that they had begun having issues with heart arrhythmia and after some investigation of her food journal realized she had been letting aspartame sweetened diet soda creep in. Which then prompted a memory of a previous time some years back when she had a similar reaction to aspartame.

I avoid all artificial sweeteners most of the time, except stevia which I use occasionally. Aspartame in particular is highly suspect for causing unpleasant things to happen in the brain. Now, I’m not a purist, and once in a while I may have something sweetened with sucralose, even a diet coke on  rare occasions, but the key is to recognize any particular effects these may have on your health or your ability to leave sweets alone.  Too many people give up sugar only to replace it with artificial sweeteners which wind up causing even greater cravings (see:

The main thing to keep in mind is that artificial sweeteners are chemicals manufactured to be far sweeter, usually 200-600 times sweeter, than sugar. When the brain gets a 600 level message, it expects a 600 level meal. I used to have a serious diet Coke habit, not realizing that in an effort to save calories, I was creating horrible cravings that I succumbed to all too often.

I think it is probably better to have evaporated cane sugar sweetened foods or beverages than those using any artificial sweetener besides stevia. We just really don’t know what all those chemicals are doing in our brains and bodies.  Learning to find health treats is one of the biggest parts of going off sugar-starch-artificial sweeteners.

These days I mainly like tea, especially fresh brewed iced tea, seltzer, hot/iced coffee, along with plenty of water. For treats I make things like peanut butter balls that don’t require added sweet.

Yours in health,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

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