My rant today is about artificial sweetners. On the Belly Fat Cure, Jorge touches on the use of artificial sweetners. He tells us that they are excitotoxins and not to use them. For the first three weeks of my BFC, I used them anyway. My logic was that they are better than sugar because they aren't counted as sugar or anything else. I happily poisoned my poor body for three weeks and was ecstatic to see 7lbs and nearly 4 belly inches drop away. This is my experience and the result. I had a continuous headache. I thought it was from allergies or possibly that I needed my contact prescription updated or even that it was my body detoxing from having such a drastic change in eating habits. I was periodically bloated during each day which I attributed again to the rapid change in diet. My system was even more irregular around week 2 1/2 and I started gaining a couple of the pounds back! At that point I went in search of answers as to WHY this was happening. I like my loss of 1 to 2lbs daily and was pretty upset when those pounds started coming back on. I double checked my sugar/carb intake and made sure that my fibre intake was also high. (I write down everything I put in my body so I can track where changes need made) I was following the plan perfectly, in fact getting far less sugar than the maximum amount. So my research began.....I spend three days researching artificial sugars. These are my findings.
ALL artificial sugars are bad for you.....REALLY bad for you. They are indeed as Jorge says, excitotoxins. This means that they mess with your brain function! There are a multitude of effects of this that are horrible but the ones I focused on are these: They mess with your body's insulin levels. When you eat or drink something with an artificial sweetner, the sweet taste tells your body to get ready to "clean your blood". The amount of insulin released is related to your body's preparation for how much sugar it thinks it will have to clean out. Artificial sweetners are FAR sweeter than sugar. Your body prepares for an intake of calories that would come with the consumption of sugar. So, you drink a Diet drink for example....your pancreas ramps up and releases extra insulin to clean your blood of the excess sugars it thinks it will be getting because you have activated it with the sweet taste, however there is nothing for it to do so it takes whatever it can find and converts it to fat, because thats what its job is. And because artificial sweetners are far sweeter than sugar, you body produces way more insulin than it would have if you had just eaten sugar! So if you drink a diet coke with a meal.....it converts a far larger amount of that meal to fat to be stored than it would have if you had just drank a normal soda. Wow. There have been many many studies done that show consumers of artificial sweetners gaining more weight than those who consumed an equal amount of sugar. Also, the artificial sugars make the body crave sweet things more than regular sugar does, also proven in studies to be consistant.
Artificial sugars also kill good gut bacteria! Our bellies need bacteria to break down the waste products. Artificial sugars destroy good gut bacteria and cause gas bloating and constipation. Waste left in the colon too long begins to release toxins back into your body so that is a bad thing.
Nutra Sweet, Aspartame, Sucralose, Splenda, Sweet n Low, Equal, and Sacchrin are all artificial sweetners. Aspartame has a formaldahyde compound in it. If it reaches above 86 degrees, this compound is released into the food or drink. Splenda has chlorine....again if heated to a certain temp will release into the food. Sacchrin has been long known to be a carcinogen.
So why does the FDA allow these on the market if they are so harmful? Well because the makers of these products have proven in small, perfectly controlled doses, these sweetners are not harmful. Ummmm, what about Americans has ever been small, or perfectly controlled??? We are a society of over indulgers, easy buttoners, and generally piss on our health by eating processed junk all day, giving little thought to how it effects our long term health....myself included until 3 weeks ago.
So after finding this information and validating its accuracy (you really didn't think I would believe it without validating the sources did you???) I cut artificial sweetners completely out of my diet yesterday. I use stevia, truvia, pure via and products sweetened with xylitol or maltital instead. My results.....in one day lost the weight I had gained back, the bloating went away completely, and no headaches. Bonus findings....my allergy headache in my sinuses....gone! Yes its sort of a pain in the butt to retrain your taste buds to like natural sweetners but my body already loves them, and me, for making the change. My goal for today....I am throwing away all of the drinks/drink mixes and food with artificial sweetners in it. Oh and another thing.....if you have kids with ADHD. ADD, or bipolar disorder.....please, please, please dont feed them ANYTHING with artificial sweetners....it really messes with thier brain chemistry. Trust me, I found out the hard way.
Sooooo......I am going to BFC my day away to a thinner, healthier me!!