Posted by: molander | January 2, 2010

Artificial Sweeteners

From the Avoid At All Cost List

1. Possibly worse for us metabolically than excess sugar or High Fructose Corn Syrup.

2. Big study of 9500 people over 9 years found 3 most prominent risk factors of metabolic syndrome:
xxxxx a.    Eating fatty meat
xxxxx b.    Eating fried foods
xxxxx c.    Drinking diet soda
xxxxxxxx i.    Compared with people who drank none, those who drank just ONE can of diet soda a day had a 34% greater incidence of metabolic syndrome. (Metabolic Syndrome often goes undiagnosed and hangs around wreaking havoc.)

3. Generally, artificial sweeteners teach our bodies that sweet foods don’t have many calories; insulin production gets tricked; no appropriate calorie burning takes place.

4. Aspartame, aka NutraSweet, (in Diet Coke unless specifically listed as Splenda sweetened) is an excitotoxin, a chemical that may cause permanent damage to our brain’s appetite center. Scary: Note that these are NEURAL changes.

5. And the earlier these neural changes begin, the worse it is. (So children should never have diet drinks…. wish I had known this years ago [sigh])

6. Hot Off The Presses: 11 year study – over 3,000 women reveals: Aspartame alert: Diet soda destroys kidney function

7. Be aware that marketers are touting the new trend to “lower” sugar in kids’ cereals.

xxxxx 1) It’s not low enough
xxxxx 2) Will they be adding artificial sweeteners in an effort keep it tasting as sweet?
xxxxx 3) Read the labels

red flag8. I think what bugs me the most about this stuff is when this stuff was originally approved for use, objections were quickly filed by neuroscience researcher Dr John W. Olney and Consumer attorney James Turner in August 1974. At the same time, investigations of G.D. Searle’s research practices caused the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to put approval of aspartame on hold (December 5, 1974). AND THEN…in 1985, Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle and made Searle Pharmaceuticals and The NutraSweet Company separate subsidiaries.
xxxxx a. Read Robyn O’Brien’s The Unhealthy Truth to learn about Monsanto and their incredible government connections. This was a book I hated to pick up because it made me so sad and yet I couldn’t put it down. It was quite an education for this little, naive American.

9. I have had 2 separate friends refer to Diet Coke as “nectar of the gods” and quite frankly, I would have agreed with them back in the mid-1980s! (Hey, Tiffany and Jen!) So if you’re still in that camp and need more convincing here’s a great article with even more information: Diet Soda – How Healthy Is It?

10. Myth Buster: It’s not the caffeine that’s the bad guy here. The Nutrition Diva explains that here. (Love her podcasts, btw. Link at the right.)



Avoid At All Cost items are either non-foods or foods modified so extremely that they have become harmful to the body. The clearest (and most concise-yet-comprehensive) list I can find on this subject is in Jillian Micheals’ book Master Your Metabolism so that’s what I’m using for reference in this series. Learn about other items on the Avoid At All Costs List at the right. Hydrogenated Fats
Refined Grains
High-Fructose Corn Syrup
Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial Preservatives, Colors, Flavoring




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