SPLENDA, IS IT REALLY
Rosemary Nardone, CHHP, RM
Certified Nutritional Health Counselor
We all know that excessive sugar causes health problems such as
cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases – not to mention obesity and
But if we give up sugar and think we’ve found the perfect alternative in
(NutraSweet, Equal) and sucralose (Splenda), we should think again.
Artificial sweeteners are comprised of more than 20 different chemicals,
names you can’t even pronounce. Only five of these have been approved by
Food and Drug Administration.
Some studies link artificial sweeteners to cancer. More and more links
forth regarding other dangerous side effects, such as kidney problems
As a Nutritional Health Counselor, I have had several clients complain
and headaches. (One woman wound up in the hospital with
HDL/LDL issues, which turned out to be connected to artificial
When I did a complete health history on each of them, I noticed a common
denominator. Each of them used Sweet’n Low or NutraSweet in coffee, iced
foods. When I recommended they stop taking them, their symptoms
three days to a week. Also noted was an immediate lift, both mentally
Most people are unaware of the fact that artificial sweeteners suppress
serotonin, a neurotransmitter that controls eating patterns. Without
serotonin, the body experiences intense sugar and carbohydrate cravings,
guess what? – lead to binging and weight gain. I work with many obese
all of them drank a lot of diet soda. Thinking they were cutting
calories, they became
addicted to their Diet Cokes, Sprites and iced teas. But it backfired.
Their brains were
telling them to consume more and more calories!
According to the National Cancer Institute, there is no clear evidence
sweeteners are related to cancer risk in humans. However, numerous
performed on laboratory rats link aspartame and saccharin to cancer,
recent seven-year study by a major nonprofit organization in Italy.
A particularly astonishing experiment with aspartame was conducted by a
named Victoria Inness-Brown whose family was addicted to diet soda.
researching the effects of aspartame, which she believed would lead to
possibly death, she decided to perform her own experiment with 108 rats.
for two years and eight months, she fed the rats the equivalent of their
(two-thirds of the aspartame in an 8-ounce can of diet soda) Of 11
females, , 37%
developed fatal tumors, some of massive size. Control groups fed no
showed no visible effects.
Other ailments relating to these artificial sweeteners are birth defects
seizures, emotional disorders and, believe it or not, diabetes.
This is not widely publicized, but the American Diabetes Association
(ADA) is actually
recommending artificial sweeteners to people with diabetes. According to
conducted by diabetes specialists, aspartame can precipitate the onset
diabetes, causes poor diabetic control in diabetics on insulin or oral
aggravates diabetic complications like retinopathy.
Know that if you consume a lot of diet foods and beverages with
sweeteners, your body will crave sweets because you are not giving it
the fuel it
needs. Our bodies, particularly our brains, need small amounts of sugar
mother’s milk contains sugar.
So what’s a weight-conscious person to do?
There are a slew of healthful substitutes that are good for the body,
and Zsweet (erithritol, a sugar alcohol refined without harmful
chemicals). Also look
for low-glycemic sugars such as agave syrup, pure maple syrup and honey
And don’t forget fruits and vegetables. Most foods (except for proteins
contain some kind of sugar. Foods with a high-glycemic index, e.g.
rice, cereal and baked goods, raise blood sugar quickly and increase
body fat. We
don’t think of these “white foods” as sugary foods, but technically they
Stick with safe or low-glycemic sugar substitutes and try to follow a
diet. You’ll rebalance your body, kick the artificial sweetener habit
and protect your
most treasured possession – your health.