Table sugar is high in calories and is often associated with obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and many other chronic diseases. Yes, you may be conscious about your sugar intake, but did you know that products that are labeled “sugar-free” aren’t as healthy as you might think?
And did it ever occur to you as to why these sugar-free foods taste as sweet as having regular sugar? Well, it’s because they contain fake sugar!In this article, we will discuss fake sugars, in particular Aspartame, the health effects of using such fake sugar, the three common mistakes that expose you and your family to fake sugars and what you can do to avoid it.
What is a fake sugar?
A fake sugar refers to artificial or synthetic sweeteners. These artificial sweeteners are used in food products and drinks as substitutes for sugar as they have lower calorie content yet they mimic the sweet taste of real sugar. One of the most common and dangerous fake sugars used by food and beverages industries is aspartame.
Aspartame is sold as Equal, AminoSweet, NutraSweet and Spoonful. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration generally recognize it as safe. In fact, it is used in more than 5,000 food and beverage products these days. If you noticed in restaurants, hotels and even in hospitals, they usually serve sweetener packets. Just one tiny packet can make your food or drink taste as perfectly sweet as you desire.
However, many health issues are being linked to the use and consumption of products containing aspartame. Dr. Mercola even cited aspartame as the most dangerous substance added to most foods today.
Why should you stop and avoid using fake sugar?
Despite the fact that aspartame has a low calorie content and it is FDA approved, it doesn’t mean it’s completely healthy and has no side effects. The chemical components of aspartame including aspartic acid and phenylalanine can cause many illnesses.
Aspartic acid or aspartate is an excitatory amino acid. Too much intake of this substance, which you may often consume from aspartame-containing food products, can result in severe chronic neurological disorders. Excessive amount of aspartate can cross the blood brain barrier (BBB), the barrier that protects the brain from toxins and other harmful substances. Aspartate allows influx of excessive calcium in to the brain cells. This influx increases the production of free radicals, which cause severe damage to the brain cells (neurons) and may even result in cell death. In other words, aspartate targets the nervous system, particularly the brain. It is neurotoxic!
Moreover, the FDA received reports that the acute exposure to aspartate in aspartame usually causes headaches, abdominal pain, fatigue, anxiety, sleep disorder, eyesight problems and chest tightness. Meanwhile, long-term exposure to aspartate contributes to the development of many chronic diseases including memory loss, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, brain lesions and neuroendocrine disorders.
Another harmful component of aspartame is phenylalanine. Despite that phenylalanine is normally found in the brain, excessive amounts of it can decrease your serotonin level. Serotonin is a brain chemical that affects your mood. In fact, a decrease in serotonin levels has always been linked to depression. This is the reason aspartame intake has been associated with depression.
Aspartame can make you gain weight too. It is a fact that it is low in calorie content, which is “assumed” good when you want to lose weight. However, the brain knows that you are not giving it what it needs – glucose (a simple form of sugar), which is supposed to come from carbohydrate sources and sweet fruits. As a result, you have hunger pangs that may result in binge eating because the brain is not getting its basic source of nutrition and energy. Your sugar cravings will just worsen.
Again, the fake sugar aspartame is made of artificial ingredients—chemical, not natural. Having lower calorie content is not a guarantee that it is safe. In fact, many health problems affecting the brain are resulting from the intake of this fake sugar. It is toxic to the brain! To protect your family from the harmful effects of fake sugar, avoid these 3 massive mistakes:
Mistake #1: You are feeding your family with “sugar-free” and “diet” products
Be a wise consumer and make it a habit to read product labels. Check the label for the ingredient aspartame. Another thing you should remember about reading labels is don’t be deceived by the taglines “SUGAR-FREE” and “DIET.” When you see these taglines, be more cautious as it means an artificial sweetener is used to mimic the taste of sugar while decreasing the calorie content. Many consumers would rationalize about buying products with these promising taglines. You might hear yourself saying these:
“I should buy this diet-version because it has low calorie content.” “This is sugar-free so it is safe and healthy.”
However, with the health dangers of aspartame discussed earlier, do you still think fake sugar is healthy and safe? To help keep you informed, here is a list of products that contain the fake sugar aspartame:
Another indicator that the food product contains aspartame is the warning that says:
“Phenylketonurics: contains phenylalanine.”
This requires you to double check the label because all foods that has aspartame contain phenylalanine, although not everything that contains phenylalanine has aspartame.
Mistake #2: You choose artificial sweeteners over natural sugar alternatives
The sweet taste of sugar is irresistible. However, the health issues linked to it made sugar a red flag in our diet. Hence, artificial sweeteners flock to the supermarket shelves and you can’t help but become hooked on them with their deceits as healthy alternatives. Since when did artificial ingredients become healthier than the natural ones?
The best way to avoid the bittersweet health issues caused by excessive use of sugar is using natural sugar alternatives such as stevia, raw honey, and maple syrup. These natural sugar alternatives are low in calorie content, healthy and sweet as sugar.
Honey is also packed with nutrients. It is rich in vitamin B6, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, amino acids, calcium, iron, potassium, copper, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, manganese and zinc. It is abundant in antioxidants and does not contain fat. Since honey is sweeter than table sugar due to its fructose content, it takes a smaller amount to sweeten your food.
If you want to use maple syrup, make sure that is it pure. You would know by checking the label where the only ingredient listed is pure maple syrup. It is fat-free and contains potassium, sodium, calcium and iron.
Mistake #3: You don’t detoxify aspartame
Aspartame and its components are substances that are detrimental and toxic to health. They increase production of free radicals that damage cells in the body. Thus, aspartame can be considered a toxin that needs to be avoided or eliminated from your system. One way to remove aspartame from your system is through detoxification. Aside from removing aspartame, detoxification also disposes the harmful free radicals, which are by-products of excessive aspartame intake.
Ways you can detoxify your body:
- Use purified bentonite-bathing clay. You simply add the bentonite clay to your bath water in the tub and soak your body in for at least 40 minutes or as tolerated. You can purchase bentonite-bathing clay at our Robina Clinic or call us on (07) 55228902 to place your order.
- Chelation therapy. The chelating agent EDTA binds with toxins like heavy metals, aspartame and other toxic chemicals, then dispose them through the faeces and urine. You may have EDTA injected through your veins or ingest the oral chelating agents. This therapy needs supervision of a healthcare professional.
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