WHAT ABOUT SUGAR SUBSTITUTES??
This is an excerpt from nutritionist, Ann Louise Gittleman's book, Your Body Knows Best.....
"What about Sugar Substitutes? Since we know that sugar will elevate insulin levels, creating the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, what about artificial sweeteners?
I remember well the story of Jan Smith, from Idea Today (September, 1991) who
at 35 taught bench and low-impact aerobics and circuit training. She also drank
a lot of diet soda sweetened with NutraSweet and ate a
She began losing her hair, her skin broke out, and she suffered from
headaches, heart palpitations, and mood swings severe enough to be suicidal. Her
cholesterol sharply increased and she developed ear and
Doctors finally diagnosed Graves' disease and told her she had to have her
thyroid removed or she would die.
Within a month of quitting the NutraSweet and all the products it was found
in, Jan's symptoms (and the extra weight) disappeared. Many people, in an
attempt to avoid sugar, use sugar substitutes. Aspartame (known as NutraSweet
and Equal) is an ingredient in more than 3,000 foods, including diet sodas and
diet foods like sugar-free yogurt and powdered drink mixes. Toothpaste,
sugar-free gum, pudding, packaged desserts, dietetic foods, sweets for
diabetics, and just about any product you can think of that used to have sugar
in it now may have
Aspartame is a combination of three substances: the amino acid phenylalanine, aspartic acid, and methanol (wood alcohol). Each of these has been known to cause serious side effects.
Phenylalanine, for example, lowers or blocks production of serotonin, an amine that sends messages from the pineal gland in the brain. This blockage is a potential cause of carbohydrate cravings, PMS symptoms, insomnia, and mood swings.
In some circumstances, people may be getting excessively high levels of methanol; it is estimated that on a hot day after exercising, if you drink three 12 ounce cans of diet soda, you could easily be consuming as much as eight times the Environmental Protection Agency's recommended limits for methanol consumption. [Thus, 600 mg aspartame gives 66 mg methanol, which is 8.5 times the EPA daily limit for drinking water of 7.8 mg daily methanol.]
Exercise can be a component in the dangers of aspartame. Jan, who now avidly supports the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network (ACSN) in Dallas, Texas 214-387-4001, pointed out that aspartame and its by-products (including free-form wood alcohol) can race through the system of very fit person who has a high metabolic rate.
When you work out, the activity of all your body systems is intensified, and so are reactions to whatever is in the body at the time. Ironically, it seems that fitness instructors are particularly prone to drinking diet soda with NutraSweet in between classes, and so may be in the most danger.
Far from being the answer to the sugar problem, aspartame has instead spurred
numerous complaints from unsuspecting consumers, which now represent 80 - 85
percent of all food complaints registered with the Food and Drug Administration.
Among 93 different symptoms are attributed to aspartame use, including
dizziness, headaches, loss of equilibrium, ear problems, hemorrhaging of the
eyes, and visual impairment.