Artificial Sweetener…It’s not health food, but it’s not evil either.

The other night I did a Facebook Live and made Gluten Free, Sugar Free, 4 Ingredient Cookies that are a great snack/treat when you’re choosing to live a healthy lifestyle.

There were lots of great comments and questions on-line and some more to my email after.

One comment that was made a few times was about me using sweetener in the cookies. Actually, every time I use or mention it, I get questions about it.

Some question why I use sucralose (Splenda).
Some question why I don’t like Stevia.
Some question why not ‘this’ or ‘that’.
Some ask great questions about sweetener and it’s safety.
Some question why a “health person / advocate” would use a sweetener.
Some questioned why not just use sugar.
…and some…
Ugh…some “educate” me on the use of sweetener and accuse me of supporting the devil’s dandruff and look to perform some sort of exorcism on me to release Satan’s sugar from my soul.

I’ve read the science and I’m always reading the latest literature. I’ve read the junk science and the marketing propaganda. I’ve researched to see who has funded the studies. I’ve researched to see who is lobbying who.

I find it funny (and odd) that some people get down right ugly at the mention of artificial sweetener.

Those same people who wear make up, use body lotion, apply sunscreen, color their hair are willing to preach the evils of sweetener but are all willing to use products that can be considered unsafe and toxic.

I also find it funny (and odd) that people have no problem drinking a bottle of wine, which is ridiculously taxing to a vital organ that we need to survive or believe their little superstar needs the nutritional value found in Froot Loops, Wonder Bread and a glass of orange juice to get their day started.

I completely understand that some people have reactions to artificial sweeteners and in turn don’t have nice things to say, I totally get that.

Much like people have opinions about MSG, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Trans Fat, Nitrates, Food coloring/dyes.

But, before you get ready to send me a nasty email or leave a holier-than-thou comment to this post…just keep reading.

I am all about being as close to natural as possible.
I work with people who are sick everyday because of lifestyle choices they’ve made.

But I need to be honest with you.

Will I have a Diet Coke every now and then? Yes
Will I put Crystal Light in my water now and then? Yes
Will I sweeten my unsweet tea with sweetener? Yes
Will I bake with Splenda so that I don’t go and binge on some high fat, high sugar snack?  Yes.
Do I color my hair, wear make up and use body lotion? Yes, yes and YES!

I’m not perfect and I’ve never claimed to be. But, I am educated in the things I’m willing to talk about as a professional.

Before you judge someone because they put some Splenda in their batch of PB cookies, look at what you’re doing first.

Hair color? Gummy candies for your kids? Macaroni in a box? Hot dogs? Pink and Blue birthday cake? Cow’s milk full of puss, medications, growth hormone. All things that are WAY WORSE but we do, we promote and we never question. Well maybe the hotdogs…we might question the hotdogs.

Why don’t I use sugar? Did you know sugar feeds cancer cells. Probably not.

We are surrounded by toxins.

I do the work to keep myself at least an 80-85% level of health. I don’t have filters on my water taps. I don’t have air purifiers in my house, I go outside without an umbrella for sunshade. Would doing those things get me closer to 100%..sure.

I eat mostly healthy food that is fuel for my body at a cellular level. I don’t eat food because it makes me feel good, forget my problems or because it makes my mouth happy and my central nervous system depressed.

If you’re carrying 20+ pounds of unnecessary fat, your health is put at immediate risk.  Way more risk than my use of artificial sweetener ever will be.

Why don’t we focus on making ourselves better.

Taking off weight so we aren’t continuing to hurt our joints our connective tissue, our internal organs or our quality of life and life expectancy seems way more logical than getting bent out of shape about sweetener.

Taking off additional weight so our hearts aren’t having to work so hard is beneficial.

Be a little less perfect so that you can be a little more consistent.
Let’s try that, ok!

So many people try to crush other people who are doing what it takes to be healthy…how about we cheer for them instead of challenging them.

And on that…if you’re going to challenge someone on sweetener, you should probably know the facts.

If you’re one of those anti-sweetener people you’re probably basing your belief on a research paper that is about 35 years old now that showed it causes cancer in rats. That is true…that’s what that research showed. It didn’t tell you that in human terms you would have to ingest a truckload of the stuff daily for twenty years to have the same effect. That research has been pretty much refuted by every respected medical professional and health institution now and is considered completely junk science.

I wonder if there was an industry that felt threatened by the rise of sweeteners as an alternative product to theirs that would have benefitted from people believing sweeteners were bad? I wonder if such an industry would have funded and bought results they needed the research to say?

I know that was really conspiracy minded of me…so here’s some more for you.

Did you know Splenda doesn’t spike your insulin levels at all making it perfect for diabetics. It’s probably saved a life or two there. Oh and it is not changed by heat so it’s perfect for baking without changing it’s chem compound or that of the other ingredients in a recipe.

Sucralose…and to a further extent, all artificial sweeteners are one of the most tested and researched products in the world! There have been more than 100 studies on the safety of sucralose alone of the last couple of decades all coming to the conclusion it’s safe for humans.

I know this is a long post, but…

Here are my final thoughts

If, just if, artificial sweeteners were in fact safe for human consumption;
If there was no factual evidence to show they don’t cause brain tumors, ALS, cancer, Lupus or your skin to fall off in flames;
If they were shown to have health benefits; less quantity use needed due to their sweeter nature and at least one having no adverse effect on insulin levels;
If they were recognized to be as safe as real sugar, honey, agave or whatever pound for pound…then, wouldn’t it make sense to use it?

Considering…

Sugar is known to be a substance that cancer cells feed off of.
Sugar is known to stimulate insulin production and spikes.
Sugar is known to cause decay of tooth enamel.
Sugar is known to lead to fat promotion in the body.

It might just be me, and a few hundrend thousand scientists, but I’m thinking that when you actually know the facts and not what your sister’s best friends mothers cousins hairdresser told her…you could actually understand that artificial sweeteners aren’t a health food, but they sure aren’t evil either.

Dr. Carrie (rant done)

PS – Oh, one more thing…
We all know someone that will tell you, “I’ve heard, I’ve read…blah, blah, blah.” CHALLENGE THEM…let them know you’re willing to listen, but you need to know the proof and the facts. DO it with love…you’ll probably be helping them at the same time.

Here’s your ammunition…

Baird, I.M., et al.   “Repeated Dose Study of Sucralose Tolerance in Human Subjects.”    Food and Chemical Toxicology   2000;38 Suppl 2:S123-9.

de la Peña.   Empty Pleasures: The Story of Artificial Sweeteners from Saccharin to Splenda.    Greensboro: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2010.   ISBN 978-0-8078-3409-1   (pp. 219-224).

Grotz, V.L., et al.   “An Overview of the Safety of Sucralose.”    Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology   2009 Oct;55(1):1-5.

O’Brien-Nabors, Lyn.   Alternative Sweeteners   [Fourth Edition].    Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2011.   ISBN 978-1-4398-4614-8   (pp. 185-186).

Rodero, A.B., et al.   “Toxicity of Sucralose in Humans: A Review.”    International Journal of Morphology   27(1):239-244, 2009.

Sollid, Kris, R.D..   “Fast Take: Sucralose & Health.”    Food Insight   8 February 2016.

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