When last we left off, our topic of discussion was 80,000 chemicals. I will spare you the details of the 80,000 in favor of discussing just ONE category, ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS.
N-(L-α-Aspartyl)-L-phenylalanine, 1-methyl ester
These 4 bullet points represent the chemicals approximately 74 million adults and 11 million children in the United States consume on a regular basis. When it’s too difficult to even pronounce the name of a chemical substance being ingested, it’s unlikely adding nutritional value to the ONE BODY each of us is confined to for life. The actual names for these chemicals are better known as:
saccharin (Sweet and Low)
acesulfame (Sunett and Sweet One.)
Aspartame, Acesulfame and Sucralose were approved by the Food and Drug Administration as safe alternatives to sugar between 1981 and 1998. Saccharin’s U.S. approval dates back to 1912 before being banned in the 1970’s as carcinogenic. In 2000 saccharin made a “come back” when its warning labels were removed and placed back on the “safe alternative to sugar” list. Doctors began recommending these chemical sweeteners to their patients as “healthier” choices in the 1980’s. The purpose was to reduce sugar’s contributing role to cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes.
….AND THE RESULTS….
We have found these chemical alternatives to natural sweeteners have failed us and instead, produced additional risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. It has taken us over 25 years to discover the negative effects these artificial sweeteners cause while claiming all along they were safe alternatives. We now understand a CORRELATION between chemical artificial sweeteners and insulin resistance (contributing to diabetes), damage to the microflora (good bacteria) in the intestines (important for nutritional absorption,) damage to neural receptors (in the brain) responsible for addictive eating disorders (as well as letting us know when we are full) and metabolic syndrome (associated with high blood sugar, high blood pressure and an elevated body mass index.)
we can’t SPECIFICALLY CLAIM that artificial sweeteners DIRECTLY cause THESE health complications. You see, correlation and causation are very different terms. This leaves us with two choices:
1. We can choose political correctness and claim our government “watchdogs” (FDA, NIH) have deemed these artificial chemicals safe for consumption and accept their findings as credible
2. Decide whether it makes more sense to consume REAL FOOD with REAL NUTRITIONAL VALUE in place of chemicals with uncertain health risks.
Since the government, doctors and nutritionists have NEVER recommended we avoid REAL FOOD in favor of ARTIFICIAL CHEMICALS, common sense would dictate the second choice as the better option.
SO WHAT SHOULD WE DO IF WE WANT TO SWEETEN OUR FOODS AND DRINKS?
Consider stevia – It also helps to control blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure.
Consider raw honey (IN SMALL AMOUNTS) – It contains antioxidants, offers antibacterial and antifungal properties, phytonutrients, and helps digestive issues.
Consider eating fruits to satisfy the need for sweetness. Various colored fruits are full of anti-oxidants which protect our bodies from free radicals (atoms that destroy cells and make the body more susceptible to diseases.)
Consider xylitol (IN SMALL AMOUNTS) – this sugar alcohol appears to be a safer alternative than other sugar alcohols, however, it is still chemically derived and therefore, my least favorable option.
IS THAT POUTING AND WHINING I HEAR?
Some will say, “I don’t like stevia.” “I’m tired of fruits.” “Raw organic honey is so expensive.” “What the heck is xylitot?” My compassionate empathetic response is, “I understand, but I’m also certain you won’t enjoy daily insulin injections, frequent doctor visits, ongoing renewal of prescriptions, constant stress from weight issues, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression and loss of function and quality living.” As much as I wish I had the power to grant a second chance at life, the reality is:
WE MUST ACCEPT THE CONSEQUENCES OF OUR DECISIONS THE FIRST TIME AROUND.
IS AN ARTIFICIAL CHEMICAL SWEETENER REALLY WORTH DRAWING A BATTLE LINE IN THE SAND OVER CONSIDERING THE POTENTIAL RISKS?