I recently published a blog post about sodas and the many ways they are detrimental to our health. If you read that blog post, you probably remember that sodas are 10,000 times more acidic than water, and therefore, it takes 32 glasses of water to neutralize one soda. I also mentioned that sodas are known to be great at removing rust, cleaning the toilet bowl and even killing mice!
As a follow-up to that message, I received several questions about beverages that contain artificial sweeteners and I wanted to address the question, “Are artificial sweeteners part of a healthy lifestyle?” The short answer to that question is, “No, they are not.”
As always, here is my explanation to that answer:
One of the primary issues with artificial sweeteners is that they are “no-calorie.” While at first this might appear to be a favorable benefit to using artificial sweeteners, it definitely is not. When we consume no-calorie beverages, the body thinks it’s starving - it NEEDS calories for energy. And when the body thinks it’s starving, it is very quick to turn the calories it does have into fat. This way it can store calories for later, in case the body doesn’t get more calories in the future.
You see, our bodies were designed for feast and famine; it was designed to react when it thinks it’s starving, and it does! When we trick the body into thinking there’s a famine coming, it will respond by turning the few calories it does have into fat. The catch here is that not too many people in America truly have a famine coming: food tends to be at our fingertips (and quite literally, when you consider all of the “finger foods” eaten like chicken tenders and French fries). We are generally feasting with NO famine on the way.
I have seen that too much of what I call a “calorie counting mentality” can be harmful to a person’s health. The truth is that we all NEED calories. However, these calories should come from good food sources. Generally, I consider foods “good” when they are from God, and foods “bad” when they are man-made. Our Creator knows what our bodies, His creation, needs: calories from good proteins, carbs and fats. We should get these proteins, carbs and fats from God-made foods: they will provide the body with the nutrients it needs at the cellular level.
My mom and I enjoy this little saying about food: “If God made it, it’s good. If man made it, it’s madness.” I encourage you to live by this saying in your everyday life when you’re considering what foods and beverages to consume for good overall health.
In addition to being “no-calorie,” there are other known issues associated with artificial sweeteners, such as they lead to insulin resistance and promote glucose intolerance. Glucose intolerance is the precursor for metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes) and Type 2 diabetes.
In a recent newspaper article titled Why You Should Always Avoid Artificial Sweeteners written by Bryant Stamford, he says, “Unfortunately, getting free of artificial sweeteners may not be easy. Studies on rats suggest that artificial sweeteners taken over a long period of time may be addictive. Indeed, rats who were used to consuming artificial sweeteners were later exposed to intravenous cocaine. When given a choice between the two, most of the rats chose artificial sweeteners.”
I realize cutting artificial sweeteners out of your life can be difficult if you’re someone who’s been using them for a long time. Because I know it can be difficult, I want to provide you with some alternatives to artificial sweeteners. Of course, this is not intended to be a complete list, but to provide you with ideas for healthier beverages.
Here are some alternatives to consuming artificial sweeteners (beverages that I personally enjoy):
Substituting beverages such as green tea, lemon water and kombucha for beverages containing artificial sweeteners is an excellent way to improve your overall health! For additional help in improving your overall health, be sure to schedule a live blood cell screening. This will allow us to pinpoint weaknesses and deficiencies at the cellular level and get your health moving in the right direction!
Elizabeth Shepard, BS
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