When life needs a little sweetening, be careful what you reach for to satisfy that craving. Sucralose shows there’s a dark side to sweet.
Artificial sweeteners are one of the many ingredients in foods today that I am bewildered to find are still permitted, let alone advertised as a healthy alternative to sugar. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying sugar is healthy; however, does the answer of sweeteners reside in replacing one criminal with another?
Here’s how it happened for me:
I began my investigation into the harmful dangers of sucralose after a particularly shocking experience. It happened on my way to ballet class. My lips and eventually my entire face became increasingly numb as I drove along the busy streets in rush hour traffic. This caused a rush of panic, and, as a healthy, young twenty-something, I thought to myself, “Well, I’m sure this isn’t a stroke, but something is not quite right.”
I pulled the car into the closest grocery store after the sensation of brain fog and extreme light headedness had become too overwhelming to continue to drive safely. I ran into the store to grab a protein bar, convinced it must be my blood sugar, even though I had eaten fifteen minutes prior and had never come across such alien feelings before. As I was paying for my bar and engaging in friendly small talk with the cashier, my voice sounded distant and disconnected from my body. I felt a strange and almost chemical anxiety like none I’d ever felt before and wanted nothing more than to promptly go back home and crawl up into bed. To be frank, I felt like I just might die.
Knowing I had to get to class, I chowed down the bar, drank some water, and continued on my way, willing myself to believe these physical symptoms were just me being dramatic, which was not such a stretch, as I have been known to be quite the little drama queen, and have chosen a career as a film and television actress.
The feelings of anxiety and near delirium were not subsiding no matter how much calm breathing I did, food I stuffed in my face, water I chugged, or slapping my body up and down with self-tapping Qi Gong exercises I repeated in pathetic and unsuccessful effort to get my energy moving. I considered all of the variables that could be causing my distress. What could I have eaten or drank that caused this peculiar reaction? I thought back to the only thing out of the ordinary that I had consumed that morning and finally came up with the culprit. I had used a scoop of spirulina blended with protein powder that contained… Are you ready for it? You guessed it. Sucralose.
I had always looked at sucralose as a lesser evil than aspartame, and had convinced myself that it was not really all that bad if consumed in small quantities. Boy, was I ever wrong.
Turns out that my symptoms were in perfect alignment with what many have experienced as sucralose poisoning. I was lucky that the amount I consumed was negligible, however given my fairly clean diet and sensitivity to any substances or chemicals, my body reacted immediately. Some experience even more violent reactions, and some do not react at all. If you are one of the latter few, this does not mean that sucralose will not affect you. This merely means that it has taken on the role of Silent and Deadly.
So, what can you do if you find your pantry stocked with protein powders, vitamins, drink mixes loaded with sucralose, or any artificial sweetener for that matter? Throw them out. Love yourself enough to respect that temple of a body and feed yourself only the most nourishing of products. Research items listed that you do not understand, and do not buy into the marketing strategies that those big corporations are selling you. Low calorie does not mean higher nutrition. In fact, if an item is listed as zero calorie, low fat, or sugar free, beware. You are likely about to consume a host of chemicals that you wouldn’t feed to your pet mouse.
BUT WAIT! Aside from all that depressing damage done by sucralose, there remains a beacon of hope for those wanting a calorie free sweetener that will not eat away their healthy gut bacteria or leave them feeling like a crazed and dazed shell of a human. Ready for it? STEVIA. Stevia is an all-natural leaf that has a lovely taste, and is only needed in small amounts to create a massive explosion of sweet heaven on the taste buds.
Stevia can be found in many of Sunwarrior’s protein powders, including my all-time favorite; Warrior Blend. Warrior Blend is also blended with MCT oil, a branch of medium chain triglycerides that are extracted from the purest and most concentrated and beneficial part of coconut oil. It just so happens that medium chain triglycerides are fabulous for your brain cognitive function among many other miracles including boosting the metabolism. Bonus!
Moral of the story? When in doubt, stick to what’s natural, listen to your body, and be kind and loving to that glorious temple that you have been blessed with. Do not make compromises, or allowances for any unknown ingredients in the products you are consuming. Do not follow blindly the words of others, be an investigator, and listen to your intuition. You are a powerful being, and your beautiful body deserves to be treated with the same conscious love and care that every other part of you does.