I got into work the other day and my staff asked me if I had seen Channel 7’s Sunrise, as apparently there was a new study linking artificial sweeteners as found in diet drinks to heart disease and stroke.
Thank goodness for technology as I was able to go straight to the Channel 7 website and watch Mel interviewing the resident medical doctor (a young woman) who had no idea that artificial sweeteners were a problem, was surprised by the research and proceeded to say that the staff on her front desk always had a diet drink in front of them. The young doctor said that you would have to drink one diet drink a day for it to be a problem, which she felt many people didn’t do, I believe the resident doctor is completely out of touch as to the diets of Australians, Kiwi’s, Americans and the British. Many diet drink guzzlers, drink on average 3 to 4 drinks a day, some drinking as many as 12.
I went straight to the research on artificial sweeteners and found that since 1974 when aspartame was first approved that there has been a groundswell of research and anecdotal evidence linking artificial sweetener to; diabetes, neurological disorders, obesity, appetite dysfunction, fibromyalgia, lymphoma, mental retardation, Parkinson’s, chronic fatigue syndrome, brain tumours, birth defects, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, epilepsy, cancer and migraines. And this is not the first time this dangerous food sweetener has been linked to heart disease and stroke. It is beyond my comprehension how anyone would ever consider consuming this non food item. At the end of the interview on Sunrise, Mel said so the lesson is “everything in moderation”.
If I hear that comment one more time I think I will scream. There are some things that should never be consumed in moderation and I would put high on the list artificial sweeteners followed by margarine, hydrogenated vegetable oils, homogenised milk and suspect food like additives.
Mel interviewed this young doctor for just under 2 minutes; I felt this was a gross injustice as to the severity of this yet again latest research. How many times do we have to be told that artificial sweeteners are dangerous and should be banned from any food or beverage sold for human consumption.
The problem is profits and consumer demand. Many people go on a diet to lose weight and drink diet drinks and foods with this artificial sweetener in them in order to lose weight but consuming these may be working against the weight issue.
Sweetness is a natural cue to the body, signalling incoming calories and to increase metabolism. A study in the Journal of Behavioural Neuroscience found artificial sweeteners appear to short circuit this natural cue, so rather than increasing metabolism to process any extra calories or to signal fullness it does nothing, and as a result, you not only use less calories but it causes more fat to be produced. The study goes onto say that if you consistently consume artificial sweeteners then when you consume sugar the same short circuit occurs.
Researchers and scientists don’t even understand how artificial sweeteners work in the body but the research consistently shows that it is something that is doing more harm than good.
This latest research that links artificial sweeteners to heart disease and stroke was presented February 10 at the 2011 International Stroke Conference. The research done in conjunction with Columbia University and the University of Miami tracked approximately 3300 New Yorkers for just under a decade. Age (40 and above), daily calorie consumption, exercise, alcohol use, smoking habits, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and more were tracked over the period. It was found those subjects who consumed diet sodas daily experienced a whopping 61 percent higher risk of stroke and heart attack then those who abstained from the low calorie carbonated beverages.
This latest research was on all the major networks in the US, Dr Nancy who was commenting on this research on USA Today program admitted that she drinks diet drinks but she didn’t admit how many though. The American Beverage Association believes the study is flawed and there is no credence to the outcome of the study, but then we would expect a comment like that from an association who makes billions from diet drinks.
Besides diet drinks, what other foods contain aspartame?
Aspartame which contains aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol are found in more than just low calorie beverages, so be aware and read your ingredients.
Items frequently containing the artificial sweetener may include; breath mints, diet ice creams, diet jams and jellies, diet soft drinks, flavoured waters, low-calorie juices, powdered juices, powdered sweeteners, snack bars, sugar-free candies, baked goods, sugar-free chewing gums, sugar-free gelatine, children’s medications, sugar-free medications and much more.
On your food labels watch for the following, NutraSweet, aspartame, sugar twin, acesulfame k, acesulfame potassium, Ace-K, Sunnett, cyclamates, saccharin, surculose, sweet and low, Sweet’n’Low, amino sweet, sweet twin, nectar sweet, splenda, surculose and neotame. These artificial sweeteners are in approximately 6,000 food products in grocery stores around the world.
I see no need to wait for more scientific documentation to make alternative dietary choices and to not make this any part of your diet, even if it is your only vice. If you think that ordinary soft/soda drinks are the answer then think again. This month the free report is on soft drinks and what they put into them and what it does to the body.
Please share this information with family and friends as many people eat and drink food with no idea that it is making them sick and fat.