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Thank you for posting your experience with aspartame. It is time for people to step back and really think before ingesting this and other artificial sweeteners.
Aspartame, Sucralose, and of course Saccharin are not healthy sugar substitutes! People always want to argue (probably because they have a Diet Coke addiction or something similar!), give all kinds of stats and 'proof' (which usually come from the companies who manufacture the substances), and generally get all defensive, but the experiences of human beings who have regularly consumed these products speak for themselves. Perhaps if people knew how these artificial sweeteners were created, they would not be so eager to put these poisons into their bodies.
For example, Splenda (I believe), at least in the early marketing of the product, made a big to-do about the fact that it is made from sugar. While that claim is true, the way it is created might raise an eyebrow or two: Cl (Chlorine) is combined with C12 H22 011 (Sucrose). Oh, how tasty... ugh. Now, I know I don't want to put that crap into my body, but hey, if others do, nothin' I can do to stop 'em. Except perhaps to add that studies at Duke and Purdue Universities, among others, have shown that artificial sweeteners contribute to weight gain. Aspartame contains both phenylalanine and aspartic acid which stimulate the release of insulin, interfering with leptin (a hormone) and promoting fat storage. And phenylalanine is an amino acid, and high, isolated amounts of it have been shown to act as a neurotoxin. Sucralose has been shown to deplete good bacteria in the intestines which leads to weight gain. Saccharin, as most people now know, is carcinogenic.
There are alternatives to refined sugar that are not artificial. Everyone knows about honey, I believe, but it's not exactly the healthiest choice and some people are sensitive or allergic to it. And unless it is raw and sourced organically, it's not any better for you than table sugar. There is stevia, which has become very popular, but one has to read labels very carefully; many mass-produced brands contain dextrose (of all things!), xylitol, or erythritol. And stevia has a bitter aftertaste that might take some getting used to. Maple syrup (real maple syrup, not the maple-flavored high-fructose corn syrup like Mrs Butterworth or Log Cabin) is a good choice for some, but others are put off by the taste of maple in things like coffee or tea. Then there is agave. Agave has been touted as the 'good for you' sweetener because it is 'natural', but it is excessively high in fructose. If high fructose corn syrup (at 55% fructose) is bad for us, then agave (at as high as 90% fructose) is probably not the best choice. Besides, commercially produced agave nectar is highly processed, removing most of anything that could be benefical nutrition-wise. The jury is still out on coconut nectar, but as of late the raw variety seems to be the best choice for a natural sweetener. It has amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, its fructose content is only about 10%, and it adds a nice sweetness (without a coconut taste) to things like tea and coffee.
So, knowing there are all these alternatives, why would anyone want to consume potentially toxic artificial sweeteners?
The overall lesson to be learned, the thing one should 'take home', is that there is no artificial substitute for sugar. Those who are looking for a quick fix approach to weight loss hang onto their artificial sweeteners and refuse to let go, arguing 'pros' that don't exist. An individual has to wean her/him self off of sweets, even though it can be very difficult to do, and change the way he/she thinks about and consumes food. We hear it a million times, but that doesn't make it any less true: It's not about dieting, it's about lifestyle change.
SUSAN_FOSTER: I am not blaming aspartame for every illness anyone has or has ever had. All I am trying to do is share my story, from my experience demolishing aspartame from my diet has made me feel so much better, I stopped having oral reactions, my tinnitus has even toned down a bit. I am not sure if it causes diabetes, hence the question mark after that sentence you are referring to. I think I have read that there is a link between aspartame and developing diabetes. What I DO know is that anybody with diabetes should not consume aspartame! I am happy even if I spark only one person with my story. I can't win over everyone, but I am OK with that.
LEKSIPATSY Posts: 380
5/31/13 12:35 P
Circumstantial evidence is compelling!! If it is enough to convict a criminal defendant why do we need higher proof to condemn aspartame?
Sometimes there is no hard and fast truth - or real physical evidence to show something. There may not be any studies showing the harm of artificial sweeteners (or they may be!) but we all have had the same experience and are much healthier without them.
I don't put anything in my coffee but 2% milk. My husband went from adding 2T of sugar (yeck!) to nothing also and he's much happier and lost a lot of weight just from that one change! (he was drinking like 5 cups of coffee a day).
SUSAN_FOSTER Posts: 1,229
5/31/13 12:26 P
LMG12112 - point me to the abstracts that prove aspartame causes diabetes.
I don't trust anyone who tries to sell me so hard on any one thing causing all of the world's ills.
LEKSIPATSY: YES! After I quit eating artificial sweeteners and sugary snacks I enjoy fruits WAAAY more than I previously did!! I will actually crave an apple or strawberries now instead of a cookie!
HILLYLILLY:For my coffee I have started to just add a tsp of real sugar and a splash of moo juice (milk) Real sugar is fine as long as you are not eating it excessively. For my teas like CMCOLE stated, I use honey, or I just drink sun tea plain not sweetened.
RUSSELL_39: THANK YOU!! Exactly my thoughts! People will say what they are told to say so long as the price is right! Hasn't it actually been proven that aspartame/sucarlose has been proven to cause diabetes?! BUT there will always be two sides of every debate, and SADLY I do not see aspartame use ever coming to a stop!
Edited by: LMG12112 at: 5/31/2013 (12:23)
RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
5/31/13 12:01 P
Scientific studies today should be printed on toilet paper so they have some worth. They say what they are paid to say.
You won't be able to walk out into the world and find naturally occurring aspartame. It is created in a lab. Since we started eating non-food, we have had an obesity epidemic. This started in the 60's, and became the low fat fad diet created in the Senate during the 1970's. The biggest problem is that not a lot of food fit into low fat, and they started coming up with alternatives to real food. Sugar free, low fat became more important than a food that we should actually consume. It was great. We had low fat twinkies!! The problem was, in practice low fat became unhealthy, due to people not eating real food. Not the fault of low fat, but of the manufacturer's, and the people wanting to eat unhealthy food that was created to be healthier in a lab. The government made it easy to call things low fat, or reduced sugar, by making the regulations to do so ridiculously easy. That is why Three Musketeers bars are a low fat food source.
Of course, as this ensued, the food industry realized that fake food was a huge moneymaker. So now we have studies that are saying exactly what they want them to say, and a government that is pushing the foods that they produce, so they can make huge profits.
The harmful additives are added to preserve, and make foods taste the way you think they should, because they are no longer real food. If you want to know the difference between real food, and a cheaper, more unhealthy version we are forced to accept daily.. go buy a loaf of bread, and set it in your kitchen. Then go to a bakery, and buy a loaf of bread, and ask yourself why the store bought bread doesn't smell hardly at all, but the bakery bread is overpowering, and also tastes MUCH better. Or go buy an ear of corn at the store, and compare it to one grown in your backyard. It will be smaller, but will taste delicious. Of course, the store brands are more profitable, and cheaper for you,so you buy them.
Then you get obese, first comes hypertension, then diabetes, maybe cancer, or heart disease, and if you live long enough, you get complications from those diseases. Kidney failure, blindness, heart attacks, stroke. Sound familiar?
The good news though is that even though we are more unhealthy than ever before, the diet we are eating is really good! We have hundreds of studies saying so!!
Or you could stop and use your brain, and ask, is putting an unnatural substance in my body good for me?
JUSTEATREALFOOD Posts: 2,480
5/31/13 10:53 A
I avoid artificial sweeteners totally. I don't care how many studies show it's safe to consume, it's not natural and I'm not eating it.
OPUSEVA Posts: 1,330
5/31/13 9:29 A
I really hate it when this kind of unscientific crap gets posted. Science has already adequately demonstrated that aspartame is safe.
Links to discussions that refute the accusations:
CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
5/31/13 8:45 A
yes, artificial sweeteners are not all they have been advertised to be (as in safe).
that's why it's best to avoid them, if at all possible.
If you insist on sweet - a little honey in your tea would likely be an alternative.
HMILLY2020 Posts: 587
5/31/13 8:25 A
I'm curious what do you use in your coffee? I tend to use plain sugar because its better than chemicals but now I'm wondering is it any better??
LEKSIPATSY Posts: 380
5/31/13 8:20 A
I wish there was a 'like' button!
The crazy thing is, once you stop eating sweetners/sugars, you are able to enjoy the subtle but delicious and varied flavors of real food which (kind of like quitting smoking IMHO)
SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,152
5/31/13 7:40 A
I agree that both Aspartame and Sucralose which is Splenda are not good and as far as artificial sweeteners I stay away from these products totally
....My endocrinologist told me not to eat "ANY" sugar free foods because they would spike my blood sugar or give me cravings to eat more...as a pre-diabetic I listened.... I have no aches or pains now, I lost 96lbs, and if I see these or any sugar alcohols like Malitol, sorbitol in the label I don't but it. Anything with itol or ose in the label is not for me.
There will be a lot of controversy over this and most people will not heed this advice, rather pooh pooh it...
WATERDIAMONDS Posts: 14,777
5/31/13 7:29 A
Wow. what a list!
Thank you for giving me a LOT to think about.
RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
5/31/13 12:39 A
It's a wonder that we are always amazed that chemicals aren't healthy for us. Aspartame isn't natural, so your body can't handle it. The human body is amazing, so we handle all sorts of toxic substances daily, like sugar, and aspartame, but we shouldn't be consuming them.
As long as people keep wanting sweet tasting food, they will keep putting more of it on the market though.
How do you test to find out if your system is clean of it? Crazy it took a year, I'm sure it is still in my system it hasn't been too long, but at least I am already feeling better!
PATTISWIMMER Posts: 4,763
5/30/13 10:53 P
it took me over a year to get it out of my system... I had trouble losing weight.. I use stevia now
Hey guys! Just thought I would share with all of you the dangers of aspartame aka NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure. Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious, including seizures and death. A few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed in the report as being caused by aspartame include:
Headaches/migraines, Dizziness, Seizures, Nausea, Numbness, Muscle spasms, Weight gain, Rashes, Depression, Fatigue, Irritability, Tachycardia, Insomnia, Vision problems, Hearing loss, Heart palpitations ,Breathing difficulties, Anxiety attacks, Slurred speech, Loss of taste, Tinnitus, Vertigo, Memory loss and Joint pain.
According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, the following chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame:
Brain tumors, Multiple sclerosis, Epilepsy, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimers, Lymphoma, Birth defects, Fibromyalgia and Diabetes.
My personal story: After I became pregnant in May of 2011, I started to drink diet caffeine-free sodas to satisfy my carbonation cravings as well as soda cravings in general. I also began to eat sugar free things alot more because I was so afraid of developing gestational diabetes. I would have just settled for fruit all day long, BUT I could not stop craving all those horrible processed sweets! Well, at about 6 months into my pregnancy I was happily munching on my favorite fresh fruit, the peach! I began to feel my cheeks and the inside of my lips get dry, and I thought, "That's strange, this has never happened before". Then, about one minute later my lips, especially my upper lip, became swollen and puffy. I called the advice nurse and she told me to take benadryl and go to the emergency room because my throat could close up at any moment. Well I didn't go I just took benadryl and kept close attention to how I felt. luckily I was fine. Afterwards I just thought, "Ok, maybe my pregnancy is causing an allergic reaction, I've read that happens quite often". WELL, after having my daughter in January 2012 I was still having oral reactions to ANY fruit or vegetable that was fresh. Mind you, I was still regularly consuming foods that contained aspartame. I could eat fruits or veggies as long as they were cooked or canned, but NOTHING fresh. I was SO frustrated! A year later and I STILL couldn't eat any fresh produce! Then I started to hear about the side effects of aspartame.I read in an article, that I will try to find and post below, oral reactions were a symptom of aspartame poisoning! SO, I stopped eating or drinking anything containing aspartame about 2 months ago. After a month I was back to eating fresh produce. I still feel my mouth act up when I eat certain fruit but no where near as bad as it was when it entirely prevented me from eating any fresh produce! It's only been 2 months though, and I am sure in another couple months I will be 100% a-OK! Aside from my oral reactions I feel better overall, I sleep MUCH better, less headaches, better mood, less fatigued. Anyways, I really hope I can reach out to some of you and that if you haven't already, you will do your own research and maybe if you too cut out aspartame will improve your health! Good Luck on all of your escapades!
Here is the LOOOONG list of aspartame poisoning symptoms taken from http://www.wnho.net/fda_92_symptoms_on_asp
Here are the 92 the FDA agreed were symptoms for aspartame. However, there are many more in Dr. Roberts medical text:
Dizziness or Problems with Balance
Change in Mood Quality or Level
Vomiting and Nausea
Abdominal Pain and Cramps
Change in Vision
Diarrhea Seizures and Convulsions
Change in Heart Rate
Change in Sensation (Numbness, Tingling)
Change in Activity Level
Oral Sensory Changes
Change in Menstrual Pattern
Other Localized Pain and Tenderness
Other Urogenital Change in Body Temperature
Other Metabolic Joint and Bone Pain
Change in Taste
Difficulty with Urination
Change in Hearing
Change in Saliva Output
Change in Urine Volume
Change in Perspiration Pattern
Change in Appetite
Change in Body Weight
Change in Thirst or Water Intake
Unconsciousness and Coma
Problems with Bleeding
Blood Pressure Changes
Changes in Skin and Nail Coloration
Change in hair or nails
Excessive phlegm Production
Sinus Problems Simple
Any Lumps Present
Shortness of Breath on Exertion
Evidence of Blood in Stool or Vomit
Change in smell
Other Blood and Lymphatic
Complex Partial Seizures
Swollen Lymph Nodes
Shortness of Breath Due to Position
Difficulties with Pregnancy
(Children Only) Developmental Retardation
Change in Breast Size or Tenderness
Change in Sexual Function