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I have said this before, but if your brain can’t recognize it, neither will your body.

The most common artificial sweeteners today are Saccharin (Sweet n’Low), Aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal), Acesulfame Potassium (Sunnet and Sweet One), Sucralose (Splenda) and Xylitol, Erythritol, Maltitol (sugar alcohols), used in many sweeteners, most commonly Truvia. These artificial sweeteners are all approved by the FDA but that doesn’t mean they are good for your health. New studies have shown that just one packet of the sweeteners above can wreak havoc on your gut health, killing the good bacteria. This makes if very difficult for you gut to process real sugars and other carbohydrates.

Saccharin (Sweet n’ Low): After studies in the 1970s showed that saccharin caused bladder cancer, the FDA required saccharin products to be labeled with “Use of this product may be hazardous to your health.” In 2000, under President Clinton, a new federal law did away with warning labels on food, so the label was removed.

Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal): Numerous studies have shown that aspartame causes cancer, but it also impairs memory, increases oxidative stress in the brain (cell damage) and can cause headaches, migraines, and mood disorders.

Acesulfame Potassium, or Ace K (Sunnet, Sweet One) The human body can’t break this substance down. it can cause nausea, and mood problems and has been shown to affect your thyroid, slowing your metabolism.

Sucralose (Splenda): A derivative of chlorinated sugar. Yes, CHLORINE! Sucralose was discovered during the development of an insecticide and somehow it was decided we should ingest it. Sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sugar so it leads to an addiction of sweet sugary foods. It also alters your glucose and insulin levels and production.

Xylitol, Erythritol, Maltitol, all sugar alcohols (Truvia): Sugar alcohols are really not digested well by the body, causing gas, bloating, diarrhea. It’s no wonder that over the counter laxatives contain sugar alcohols. Truvia, marketed as a stevia leaf product, contains very little of a specific part of the stevia plant but it mainly Eythritol. The company was even sued for this misinformation.

I think aritificial sweeteners appeal to people because of the zero calorie appeal, but such a negligible amount of a healthy sweetener, say in your coffee, is really not going to push you over the edge of calorie consumption. In fact, artificial sweeteners make you crave more sweet and sugary foods, causing you to consume more calories anyway. Swap out your artificial sweeteners for these healthy sweeteners that boost your health, not deteriorate it.

Raw Unrefined Honey: Provides antioxidants, fights inflammation, boosts immunity and works as a prebiotic, feeding good gut bacteria.

Pure Dark Amber Maple Syrup: Provides antioxidants, fights inflammation, contains zinc and magnesium to boost the immune system.

Stevia: An herb that has been used for centuries, contains antioxidants and naturally zero calories. Be sure to buy a product that is purely stevia leaf extract. Most companies add other chemicals and still call it Stevia.

Another way to sweeten or flavor your food is with fruit, cinnamon, or vanilla.

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