We eat over 152 lbs of sugar per year! Sugar and artificial sweeteners are in EVERYTHING! Bread, processed foods, sugary drinks, and condiments give us that rush of sugar we’re addicted to. We want to be fat burners, but we don’t want to give up the sweet, tasty treats. A great way to satisfy those sweet treat cravings is with healthy sugar alternatives. But could the artificial sweeteners be causing more harm than help? Studies show that although these sweeteners lack sugar and carbs, the negative responses that they create in our bodies are even worse than the responses real sugar creates!
What Are The Negative Side Effects of Artificial Sweeteners?
Sucralose, saccharin, and aspartame are widely used, artificial sweeteners. These sugars are dangerous at best and offer no nutritional value. Sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin are man-made or synthetic sweeteners used by brands like Splenda, Equal, and Nutrasweet. These sweeteners have no nutritional value but they significantly affect our glucose and digestive systems. Artificial sweeteners come from a chemical called organochlorine. Studies show that the chemicals used to create artificial sweeteners change the environment of microbiota in our gut. The chemicals reduce the good bacteria in our gut and alter our glucose and insulin. Studies also show that heated sucralose or Splenda (such as in pastries to make them ‘sugar-free’) results in the toxic generation of a chemical called chloropropanol. Chloropropanol acts like a carcinogen in our bodies.
Artificial Sweeteners to Avoid
There is a long list of artificial sweeteners to avoid. It’s important to recognize them in order to avoid their negative side effects. Here are a few that you should look out for!
Top Foods That Contain Artificial Sweeteners
Below are commercial foods with the highest amount of artificial sweeteners. These are foods that you should avoid!
- Bread labeled 100% whole wheat
- Light yogurts
- Diet soda, teas, and juice
- Low Sugar drinks and goods
- Foods labeled ‘Smart’
- Foods labeled Diabetes-safe
- ‘Light’ bread and snacks
- Canned foods
Top 3 Healthy Sugar Alternatives to Try
A diet-soda drinker may experience long-term side effects such as fuzzy brain, joint issues, and allergies. Studies also show that people who choose an artificial sweetener diet gain more weight over time. This is because the sweeteners increase their sugar cravings! Stay away from artificial sweetener brands like Nutrasweet, Splenda, Aspartame & Sweet n’ Low. Try the following alternatives to sugar instead:
The leaves from the natural stevia plant can be ground down and put into foods to sweeten them. Be careful to make sure it’s organic stevia because due to the high demand for sugar alternatives. There are a lot of stevia imposters out there. Watch out for additives (like actual sugar!) when selecting a natural stevia sweetener.
2. Sugar Alcohols
A good option is sugar alcohols like erythritol & Xylitol because they have a 0 glycemic index (it won’t spike your blood sugar levels). Again, watch the ingredients because Xylitol is made from… CORN, which turns to…SUGAR in your body. Source your sugar alcohols from birch instead of corn. Sugar alcohols are also a healthy alternative to sugar used in baking.
3. Monk Fruit
Monk fruit is another natural and healthy sweetener. It has been used as a natural sweetener for centuries! Monk fruit is grounded down into a powder and used to sweeten food.
Next time you want to reach for a diet snack or soda, make sure you check the label! You can prevent toxicity in your body and alterations to your glucose and digestive system by choosing natural, earth-grown sugar alternatives free of additives. If you want to break your sugar addiction, it’s important to avoid artificial sweeteners and their negative side effects. A cold-turkey fast is a great way to get a clean start. The Livingood Daily Challenge is a 21-day, step-by-step process that can assist you with this.