Week 9: Kitchen Dangers

Now we only have a third left of this transformation series to go.

When was the last time you tossed items out of your kitchen that have no nutritional value to you? Lurking in your kitchen is a danger, most foul. It’s disguised as a sweet alternative to sugar, though it is anything but! In the 30 Days TO GET IT BACK series, we talked about sugar sabotage. But, did you know that artificial sweeteners can be significantly worse for you? You might be surprised at how bitter these facts actually are!

  1. The number one danger lurking in your cabinets and fridge is ASPARTAME (NutraSweet & Equal). It’s used in diet sodas, breath mints, sugar-free gums, and frozen yogurt. It’s the Aspartic Acid and Phenylalanine, giving Diet Coke and other sodas their chemical-taste. It’s 150-200 times stronger than natural sugar! DON’T LET THE ZERO CALORIES FOOL YOU!Possible side effects include: headaches/migraines, dizziness, nausea, weight gain, muscle spasms, depression, fatigue, insomnia, heart palpitations, vision and hearing problems, anxiety attacks, vertigo, memory loss, joint pain, emotional disorders, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, brain tumors, brain cancer, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, Epilepsy, and birth defects, all due to overuse of aspartame.
  2. Second on the list is SACCHARIN (Sweet ‘N Low): used in some toothpaste like Crest and Colgate, as well as diet sodas. Its sulfur dioxide, chlorine, ammonia, and biochemical acids absolutely taste bitter with a metallic finish. It’s about 400-500 times stronger than sugar, but only 1/8 calorie per teaspoon, wooohoo…?Possible side effects: In 1977, the FDA made all products containing saccharin add a warning label stating that it was determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals. In May of 2000, it was removed from the National Toxicology Report on Carcinogens. PROCEED WITH CAUTION!
  3. Making our list at number three is SUGAR ALCOHOLS (low-carb products): used in low carbohydrate products and it is actually sugar, but with an added hydrogen molecule. It tastes similar to the sweetness of sugar, has similar strength as sugar, but with less impact on blood glucose levels and 25% less calories than sugar.Possible side effects: bloating, gas, diarrhea, and vomiting.
  4. At number four STEVIA (not yet approved by the FDA): this sweetener comes from the Stevia plant. It tastes similar to the sweetness of sugar, but 180-400 times sweeter and has 0 calories.Possible side effects: Stevia is in same family of plants that includes chrysanthemums, daisies, and ragweed. If you are sensitive to any of these plants, you may also have a reaction to Stevia. Other side effects are still not known, but studies looking into fertility and a lowering of blood pressure and heart rate are under way.
  5. Rounding out the list is SUCRALOSE (Splenda): used in numerous low carb or sugar-free products. Its sugar bonded with chlorine atoms and tastes slightly chemical. It is 600 times sweeter than sugar and has 0 calories.Possible side effects: with many accusations, no side effects have been confirmed in 113 studies over 20 years. The upper limit is considered to be 1,500, 12-ounce diet sodas a day. It’s important to note that although Splenda contains chlorine atoms, it differs in the way it is structured and therefore, does not resemble household chlorine. The human body also contains its own natural chlorine.

I, personally, use sparingly Agave, Stevia, organic raw honey and maple syrup for my sweeteners and not every day. STAY AS CLOSE TO MOTHER NATURE AS POSSIBLE…last time I checked, there aren’t any artificial sweeteners in lean proteins, vegetables, and fruits! My view is that if you are limiting processed foods and sweets, you ARE IN GOOD SHAPE!

This week do a solid Kitchen Sweep and create a Shopping List of better items to conveniently have on hand at the house instead. Make a list of all foods containing at least 1 of these 5 artificial sweeteners. Choose which ones to keep, which ones to toss and then with caution make sure whatever goes in your shopping cart this week supports this new wisdom.