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Artificial sweeteners

8/17 9:01:24

Question
Hi Laurie
I am 50.
About five years ago I started using those paper packet artificial sweeteners.
I thought it would be a good way to cut out sugar and lose weight.
My health has not improved and has actually deteriorated. I have gained weight, developed hypertension, and gallstones. My first thought is its age related, however it  is puzzling to both me and my doctor as I do eveything you are supposed to do to avoid these problems.All my rests, except for the blood pressure, are OK.
I have recently been on a very low calorie diet and have not lost an ounce.
This has got me to thinking that somehow my system has been compromised? and is not behaving normally, maybe because of something I ingest.
Since I dont drink, take drugs, eat junk, all I can think of is my daily aspartame habit.
There seems to be conflicting information out there.
The FDA says it is very safe, as of course do the food companies, but other natural health sites claim it is nothing less than poison,especialy to the liver.
I am going cold turkey to see what happens.
Your thoughts appreciated.


Answer
Dear Bud,

THere is no evidence that artificial sweeteners can contribute to high blood pressure, or to weight gain.
Obviously, artificial sweeteners have not solved our nation's obesity problems!  One theory is that we subconsciously believe that since we are saving so many (20) calories by substituting artificial sweetener in our tea or on our cereal, we can go ahead and enjoy a donut or a handful of chips!  What do you think?

How long have you been on a very low calorie diet and how low is it?

My advice is to start keeping a log of what you eat.  Buy a notebook to write it all down--every single thing you eat and drink just after you eat it, every day, for a couple of weeks.  OR, some online websites allow you to log on their site and they calculate your calorie intake for you (The Daily Plate and Spark People just to name 2).

Usually when we try so hard to diet for so long we convince ourselves we have been "good" for so much of the time we can afford to have a little "cheat"... most people--including myself--are cheating ourselves right into weight GAIN when we are trying to lose!

Keep track of what you eat and see if this is what might be happening.  Unless you are having a dozen servings of aspartame a day (and even that has not been shown to be harmful in any way) it's pretty out of the question that it's what's contributing--however, it's certainly not a bad idea to quit it!  Remember that a teaspoon of sugar only has 20 calories, so go ahead and help yourself to a spoonful once in a while!
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