The past few weeks in my Anatomy and Physiology class, my fellow classmates have given presentations on a specific subject related to what we're studying. Yesterday in class an individual presented on the topic of artificial sweeteners. Her presentation was very intriguing and prompted me to do more research. Honestly, I could write pages upon pages about how unhealthy artificial sweeteners are for you, but I've chosen a few pieces of information that I think are most vital:
- The two main artificial sweeteners used in the world today are Aspartame and Sucralose. Aspartame is found in most items that claim to be sugar-free, like yogurt, chewing gum, artificial sweetener Equal, NutraSweet, and pudding--just to name a few. Sucralose is simply chemically altered sugar (sucrose). In the process of altering the sugar, three hydrogen atoms are replaced with three chlorine atoms. Yep, you heard that correctly, chlorine--a known carcinogen--and Americans are sipping, chewing, and gulping it down like there's no tomorrow. Sucralose is pretty new, so it is currently only used under the trademark Splenda.
- Once in your body, sugar breaks down into oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. Aspartame, on the other hand, breaks down into methanol, formaldehyde, and formic acid. Yeah, they embalm people with formaldehyde. It's really difficult to decide which of those I'd rather put into my body.
- Just because the FDA says they're safe doesn't mean they are. The American government lies to its citizens when they need to make a buck, so it shouldn't shock you that the Food and Drug Administration deems artificial sweeteners okay even though there is ample research available to prove otherwise. For example, did you know that the FDA approved the use of Sucralose even though there was a research study that proved it could possibly be toxic. And aspartame is no better, either. There have been over eighty recorded complaints against the trademark Nutrasweet, yet none of these cases has been investigated by the FDA. If you'd like to read more, please follow this link.
- They've each got some nasty side effects. Aspartame and Sucralose may taste sweet going down, but they can cause some pretty gross and uncomfortable side effects. Aspartame, for example, has been known to cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, hair thinning, hyperactivity, Restless Leg Syndrome, depression, and numbness just to name a few. It's contender, Sucralose, can cause diarrhea, hives, anxiety, wheezing, and mood swings.
I'm not implying that you should stop eating or drinking anything containing Aspartame or Sucralose with this post, this is just my attempt to educate you. It's difficult to abruptly stop ingesting something that you are constantly bombarded with, but hopefully the next time you pick up a diet soda you'll think about this post and the possible harms the artificial sweeteners inside can do to you.