Thanks to Venus Factor I receive complimentary access to their 12 week weight loss system for women. This week I’m going to be talking to you about sweeteners. In the Venus Factor system there are no restrictions as far as what sweeteners you can use. There are only suggestions as far as smart ways to stay within your daily calorie budget. Managing sweeteners you use is a key way to control your calorie intake and your satiety. The more calories we take up with sweeteners the fewer we have to eat higher quality nutrients like fiber, protein, carbohydrates and even unsaturated fats our bodies need.
My focus today will be on how to sweeten your food with sweeteners that are low calorie but also taste as close to sugar as possible. There are many artificial sweeteners on the market which claim to be good for you. My personal experience has been the opposite. For years I have tried to avoid anything with aspartame because it tends to give me a headache. So when sucralose came on the market, being made from sugar, I thought it would be a good alternative. I learned a hard lesson while eating this sweetener. During the first few weeks I was on Venus Factor I used sucralose to sweeten my coffee. I only used one packet per day. I started feeling strange sensations, stomach aches, diarrhea, headaches and vertigo. At the time I was also taking a few diet enhancing supplements so I thought maybe those were affecting me adversely. So without changing too much at once, first, I removed one dietary supplement but the side effects continued. After a couple days I removed the second dietary supplement and the side effects continued. After a few more days I stopped using any supplemental vitamin mineral or anything else in my diet, but the side effects continued. The only thing I had added to my diet that I hadn’t been eating before at this point with sucralose.
So I did some searching. On Dr. Mercola’s website I found an article describing the process of how sucralose is made, the effects of heating it, and how it is processed by the body. Since this is not a naturally derived sugar or sweetener your body does not process it normally; it goes directly to the liver and is treated as a toxin. When I looked at the list of potential side effects of consuming sucralose I almost fell over because several of the side effects it was talking about were ones that I had. Plus, a potential danger is heightened blood sugar and WEIGHT GAIN!!! That day I decided no more sucralose. It didn’t matter if it tasted more like sugar than any other sweetener I had it was not worth the risk to my health. After this I was able to add in the rest of my supplements and vitamins without any ill effects.
I took some notes about the weird side effects I experienced.
I just finished my breakfast and I feel a bit out of sorts. I’m lightheaded, slightly dizzy and mildly shaky all over. I felt like this yesterday and the end of last week through the weekend too. At first I truly thought the supplements I was taking were at fault so today I did not take them. I still feel the same.
Just because a person is not a doctor, nutritionist or scientist doesn’t mean they can’t be a good investigator. Today I removed the supplements from my diet and still felt the same. This means it must be something else. Waiting til 9 o’clock to have breakfast isn’t the culprit because I do that even when I’m not on a diet. What I’m eating for breakfast isn’t that much different in quantity or calories than before I was on a diet so it can’t be that either. The ONLY thing different that remains is the type of sweetener I use in my coffee.
In an effort to cut out as many calories as possible I’ve been using an old sucralose based powder sweetener I’ve had in the cupboard for a couple years since my last weight loss attempt. Knowing this was the only different item I’ve been consuming I decided to do a little searching. Sadly, I discovered that this sweetener could very well be the culprit of my lightheadedness.
I wish this were an April Fool’s joke, but I discovered sucralose is more than just a little bad for me. It’s downright dangerous. After doing some research I found an article on Dr. Mercola’s website which described how sucralose is made and how it affects the body. All the side effects it laid out were ones I was experiencing. The fact it destroys the natural balance of my intestinal flora is one that scared me very much, because they are an important part of my immune system function. Without the right balance of intestinal flora I leave myself open to the flu, colds and a host of other infections. It’s not worth sweetening my coffee with something that will leave me vulnerable to infection.
This makes me wonder now if a lot of my problem last year – I was sick 4 times and once for almost 2 months – may have stemmed from the consumption of sucralose. A water soluble vitamin supplement I was taking was sweetened with sucralose and I was taking it every day. What a fool I am. I am going to need to take a closer look at the commercially available protein supplements as well because I know I’ve seen sucralose in the ingredient list of some of them. How frustrating it is when science that is designed to help you ends up hurting you more. 🙁
My personal recommendation on sweeteners is stay as natural as possible. Check out this Pin about natural alternatives to sugar. I use a combination of natural sugar and stevia now to sweeten my coffee. The aftertaste of stevia is not my favorite, but I’d rather put up with that than put my health at risk.
I am not a doctor or medical professional of any kind. I am just an individual very interested in my health and sharing with you my experiences and research. Please, do yourself a grand favor and make well informed decisions based on what your body is telling you, your findings, and consultation with certified medical professionals.
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