Sunday, July 24, 2011

What's NOT in Mother Nature's Cup of Tea: The Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners (Aspartame, Splenda & Truvia) and Natural, Healthy Alternatives

The breathtakingly beautiful handcrafted teapot featured above is a one-of-a-kind creation from the Etsy shop Adrien Art.

Scientific research has shown that artificial sweeteners like Aspartame, Splenda, and Truvia are very hazardous to our health. Aspartame, the common zero calorie synthetic sweetner, in diet sodas, sports drinks, flavored waters & teas, nearly ALL chewing gum (and I am not just talking about the "diet" ones), children's drinks, discovered to be a dangerous neurotoxin; and scientific evidence suggests that it may lead to neurological disorders like Parkinson's and Multiple Sclerosis. With my mother and twin sister both having Multiple Sclerosis (MS), I am very cautious about this synthetic ingredient. Although, my sister (who has MS yet is in very healthy shape right now) and I avoid Aspartame completely; our mother at the youthful age of 48, however, is completely paralyzed from the neck down and is living in a nursing home where she has been living for 12 years because of the debilitating effects Multiple Sclerosis has had on her body. Now, what is the one thing that our mother has been consuming daily for all of this time? Aspartame; in her diet soda and in the form of "Sweeten Low" in her iced tea...everyday. Now, I am not saying that Aspartame caused her disease, I just have a sense of concerned intuition about the safety of this ingredient. My mother strongly opposes leaving Aspartame out of her diet because she "loves it" and refuses to believe that it could be harmful to her body. I personally think that she is physically addicted to Aspartame.

There is a very informative documentary that I think everyone should watch called "Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World" that talks about the effects of Aspartame by doctors, scientists, and victims of this very common additive in our food supply. I strongly advise that everyone sit down and watch this film and show it to your friends and family. Here is a link to the full film:

Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World

Now, I know that many people believe that Splenda is a healthy sugar substitute; however it is over-processed and thus transformed into a chlorocarbon, with a molecular structure closely resembling chlorine-based DDT, the banned pesticide. Please look at this article on the Women to Women Website and these short video clips by Dr. Mercola about the dangers of Splenda:

"Sugar Substitutes and the Potential Danger of Splenda" by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP

"Scientific Basis for Splenda Toxicity" by Dr. Mercola

"Is Splenda Really As Safe As They Say It Is" by Dr. Mercola

Unfortunately "Truvia" is now being advertised as a "healthy and natural" alternative to sugar; however, like Splenda, it too is overly-processed and has posed concern to scientists and doctors about it's safety. Please check out these links about the health concerns of "Truvia"...and please do your own research:

"Truvia: New Low Calorie Sweetener (Toxin)"

"Truvia Side Effects"

You may now be asking..."What is the answer to the sugar substitute madness?!" Well, there are several NATURAL and HEALTHY choices out there for you to try. First of all, local, all-natural honey is a great and very medicinal sugar alternative (I even use honey in baking); pure maple syrup and molasses are also natural, healthy choices.

Stevia products that you can find at your local health food stores are extracts from the Stevia plant and are very healthy for you. These places shouldn't carry Truvia I assure you...I know because I work at Akins Natural Foods Market and we don't carry it. Also, something that my husband Joe and I love to use is the actual Stevia leaf; we make our own herbal tea blends and add just a few pinches of Stevia leaf to our herbal tea blend (our favorite right now is Sassafras, Sarsaparilla, Licorice, Peppermint, Star Anise, Stevia leaf, and a hint of Cinnamon...mmm, divine)! You can find Stevia Leaf in this charming herb shop from fellow guild member of the Etsy Natural Healers Guild: Mistical Acscents. Here is their link to their Stevia Leaf listing:

"Stevia ORGANIC Natural Sweetener"Now, there is also another healthy and natural sugar substitute that I am very curious about...coconut sugar! Please check out this fascinating article about Coconut Sugar from Natural News:

"Coconut Sugar: Enjoy the New Star Among Low Glycemic Sweeteners"

My husband, Joe and I actually buy this delicious and surprisingly NUTRITIOUS (naturally contains trace minerals) Coconut Sugar by Natural News!!!

This blog article was contributed by Etsy Natural Healers Guild Team Captain Jessica of Eco-Friendly Freckles.


  1. Fascinating and Informative! Thanks for the feature. :-)

  2. I would like to add that...

    I've heard/read pros and cons about Agave Nectar. The pros are that agave nectar is a healthy, natural substitute to sugar and synthetic sweeteners...However, as for the cons, I have read quite the opposite...that Agave Nectar actually drastically spikes your insulin "worse that high fructose corn syrup"! Working in a health food store, I see people purchasing this product all of the time thinking it is "healthy", but I stay skeptical since I have read otherwise from several different sources. Thus, I have chosen not to use agave nectar in my diet...I am however IN LOVE with coconut "palm" sugar! Here are a few articles about the health risks associated with the consumption of agave nectar: