by Gail Bowman
It is obvious that a diet soda or drink is better than a comparable drink that is loaded with sugar. Maybe the sweeteners are not all that good for us, but for those of us who are trying to lose weight and stay fit, sugar is just not an option!
Well, several sources are now saying that we have that backwards. The sugary drinks, while they are not good for you, are way better than the sweeteners in the diet form of the same product! It turns out that some diet sweeteners are addictive and damaging to your brain! Here is an excerpt from an article by Ruth Ann Spooner about Excitotoxins:
“Basically, excitotoxins (low-calorie sweeteners) are a group of amino acids—including aspartate, glutamate, cysotic acid, and the more widely known MSG—that cause neurons in the brain to become overexcited and start firing their impulses very rapidly until they die from over-exhaustion. Many research studies have found that exposure to even one dose of excitotoxins led to irrecoverable brain damage from increased levels of free radicals, lesions, swelling, and, in the cases of babies, miswired neuron pathways.
“Babies and young children, with their still-developing brains, are especially vulnerable to the damaging effects of excitotoxins from the aspertate, glutamate, and MSG in foods. Exposure can lead to their brains becoming wired incorrectly as it develops, leading to a host of problems as they grow older. Adults also show damage in their brains, but in nearly all cases, the damage does not manifest itself until much later—years, or even decades later.
“Because of reluctance on the part of the food industry, their lobbyist groups, and the government, more research still needs to be done, but current findings indicate a strong likelihood that excitotoxins could play a role in the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s, and other nervous system diseases. That’s right: the low-calorie sweetener in your diet soda and the taste enhancer in your canned soup is slowly damaging your brain by “exciting the cells to death” and may be setting you up for the onset of a nervous system disease. Scientists are also exploring the link between excitotoxins and strokes, seizures, migraines, dementia, attention deficit disorder, autism, among other brain-health issues.”
Reading that article was enough to make me quit drinking sodas, that’s for sure! However, more research has come out that says that diet drinks and low calorie sweeteners actually have a damaging effect on our digestive systems and may lead to diabetes too!
Here is an excerpt from an article by Dr David Perlmutter:
“As consumers have become more aware of the association of sugar consumption with T2D, and weight gain as well for that matter, there has been a fairly dramatic increase in the consumption of artificially sweetened beverages. And to be sure, it’s not just the health risks associated with sugar that have catapulted sales of diet drinks. …
“We are now seeing research that quite clearly demonstrates that drinking diet drinks, containing no sugar at all, significantly increases a person’s risk for obesity as well as the development of diabetes. In a recent report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, French researchers evaluated more than 66,000 women over a 14 year period and found that those who favored sugar-sweetened beverages did, in fact, have an increased risk of T2D, by about 34%. Incredibly, those choosing artificially sweetened drinks had a risk increase for T2D that was more than twice of that amount….
“But there may be another mechanism at work. Israeli researchers recently demonstrated that in both laboratory animals as well as humans, glucose intolerance (which sets the stage for full-blown diabetes) is related to changes in the gut bacteria induced by artificial sweeteners. Consumption of these chemicals induces changes to the microbiome, the collection of microbes and their genetic material that live within our bodies, for the most within the intestines.
“We now understand that the microbiome, the more than 100trillion organisms that reside in our digestive system, helps regulate all manner of metabolism within the human body. The organisms play a key role in determining how we handle sugar and carbs, how many calories are extracted from our foods, and even whether we feel hungry or satisfied. …
“So choosing diet drinks as a substitute for sugar-sweetened drinks clearly represents a clear and present danger.”
So, what are we supposed to use for sweetening foods and drinks? Both Jordan Rubin and Dr Perlmutter recommend Stevia if you need to use a sweetener. Both experts also recommend that you try to learn not to eat sweet foods, or to have a small amount of low sugar fruit instead of a sweetened dessert or drink.
Some lower sugar fruits include berries, grapefruit, peaches, plums, kiwi, apples, cherries, nectarines, pears, and oranges. You can also have a piece of dark chocolate (sweetened with stevia is best), or a handful of nuts, or some veggies dipped in guacamole, salsa, nut butters, hummus or soft goat cheese, to satisfy your need to snack.
Destroying both your brain and your gut, as well as raising your risk of diabetes, is a high price to pay for a diet soda or that sweet dessert that is now carb because it contains artificial sweeteners! The more we learn about foods that have been made popular by the advertising industry, the more I wonder what food (and people) will look like in another 20 years!