Healthy Moms

Artificial sweetener myth
June 14, 2010 at 8:02 AM

 As I mentioned in another post, I've read a few articles (that I'll cite when I can dig out the links) stating that things like NutraSweet will actually increase obesity and blood sugar issues.  I've had my share of diet drinks.  Years ago I remember being thrilled when Equal hit the shelves. 

A few years later I was having some major health problems.  My migraines were out of control occurring daily and nothing would treat them.  Not even narcotics in the ER.  I would black out and one episode was for two days.  I would pass out and, from what I was told, would have an almost seizure-type event while passed out.  Despite the exercise and stretching I was doing, I just couldn't drop weight.  I had every test and scan and nothing showed as being too out of the ordinary.  Finally, a doctor asked me how much Aspartame I was consuming.  He explained Aspartame was the chemical that's labeled as Equal.  I told him how much I loved the stuff because I didn't have to use sugar and it was terrific.  He told me to stop.  Suggested that if I had to have soda to drink regular, old soda.  Suggested that I make things like lemonade using honey if I was that adverse to sugar, things like that.

So I went home and put the Equal in the back of the pantry.  I couldn't bring myself to throw out my new best friend.  Within about a week I was feeling better.  I still had migraines but they were not only manageable, some I could totally get rid of with some simple, non-medicinal steps.  I had no more episodes of blacking out, no more passing out, almost everything went to normal.  In the end, I have some residual issues but nothing like what I was having when I was married to Equal.  The doctor felt that all of the issues were caused by an allergy/sensitivity to the chemical that developed over time.

Even nasty refined sugar is more healthy than these additives and artificial sweeteners.  My husband deals with blood sugar issues.  He was drinking diet Coke and would munch in the evenings on sugary sweets.  His munching was part habit and part cravings.  I convinced him to stop the diet drinks for 30 days, to drink less soda but make it regular, nasty soda - though we did do some sugar and cane sweetened as much as we could - and to see how he felt.  His cravings for sugar at night went down, his blood sugar dropped drastically, the cravings that he did start to have were for complex carbs versus sugar carbs.

Oddly enough, there is talk that Equal will be allowed to be labeled as "natural" in the near future.


  • jsbenkert
    June 15, 2010 at 11:24 PM

    I quit drinking sodas when I quit smoking.  I realized that drinking soda was a "trigger" for me craving a cigarette.  I also realized that when I'd drink an artificially sweetened soda, I'd get a weird headache in the middle of my forehead.  I never checked to see if it meant anything medically, but it was enough to make me think that I wasn't doing myself any favors by using artificial sweeteners.

    Now, I sweeten my coffee with a little natural sugar (organic if I have it), but that's about the only time I add sweeteners to anything that I eat or drink.  When I bake, or make pancakes for my family, I'll use natural, unrefined sugar, or agave nectar.  I know that there are problems with any sort of added sweetener, but I do try to use those that are more natural.  I've much to learn in this arena, though.

  • DestMasters
    June 16, 2010 at 9:04 AM

     I've seen Truvia but I've avoided it, only because I don't trust anything that has "added" ingredients.  There are a lot of links with some discussions on it in Google. 

    I would think that it's all going to depend on how much you're using...if it's truly natural.

    Quoting olgabillman07:

     Is truvia safe for me? I switched to those packet a long time ago after cutting out white sugar and splenda.


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