Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Life Fit Chat with Laura Lewis: Natural alternatives to chemical sweeteners

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Life Fit Chat with That's Fit Life Fit Expert Laura Lewis brings conversation provoking tidbits to your table, served up with a touch of spice! Byte-sized information that pack some punch, brought to you every Wednesday, and Thursday!

Are you addicted to to those little pink, blue and/or yellow packets available at every conventional restaurant and super market? Do you suffer from any of the following symptoms?

  • systemic lupus
  • fibromyalgia symptoms
  • spasms
  • shooting pains
  • numbness in your legs
  • cramps
  • vertigo
  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • tinnitus
  • joint pain
  • depression
  • anxiety attacks
  • slurred speech
  • blurred vision
  • memory loss
If so, you may be suffering from Aspartame Disease. Sweet'N Low(R) and NutraSweet(R) are both artificial sweeteners that contain Aspartame, which is highly toxic to our bodies. According to an article written by Nancy Markle, Aspartame can cause symptoms that actually mimic the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. "When the temperature of Aspartame exceeds 86 degrees F, the wood alcohol in Aspartame coverts to formaldehyde and then to formic acid, which in turn causes metabolic acidosis. (Formic acid is the poison found in the sting of fire ants). The methanol toxicity mimics multiple sclerosis; thus people were being diagnosed with having multiple sclerosis in error."

If Splenda(R) tends to be the packet you pick most frequently, you may find yourself suffering from the following symptoms:
  • skin rashes/flushing
  • diarrhea
  • muscle aches
  • intestinal cramping
  • bladder issues
  • stomach pain
Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP comments, "As food additives, artificial sweeteners are not subject to the same gauntlet of FDA safety trials as pharmaceuticals. Most of the testing is funded by the food industry, which has a vested interest in the outcome. This can lead to misleading claims on both sides. But one thing is certain: some of the chemicals that comprise artificial sweeteners are known hazards - the degree to which you experience side effects just depends on your individual biochemistry. Manufacturers are banking on the fact that our bodies won't absorb very much of these compounds at any one time. And many of us don't. But what happens when we are ingesting a combination of artificial sweeteners like Splenda dozens of times a week through many different "low-sugar" or "sugar-free" products?"

The good news is there are natural alternatives. Stevia is an herb that is native to South America and has been used as a natural sweetener for hundreds of years. Stevia is actually 30 times sweeter than refined sugar but has no calories or negative side effects. Date sugar and sugar from dehydrated cane juice are also healthful alternatives to refined or artificial sweeteners. The next time you feel compelled to reach for one of those pretty pastel packets try a natural alternative instead.

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