The better half has long been telling me to “Give that shit up” – meaning the sweeteners I insist on adding to my coffee and tea, and the sugar free artificially sweetened softdrinks I like. Noakes’ lifestyle advocacy says the same thing, but for (what I thought) are very different reasons.
The Banting lifestyle advocates avoiding any artificial sweeteners because this can cause the same insulin spike reactions in your system therefore negating the effect eating all the healthy foods you are eating has. I’m sure, if I read further and actually do some research, they cover the fact that it’s pretty much poison too – but in RMR the focus is predominantly on insulin spikes.
I gave up sugar some 3 or more years ago as at the time I was living with somebody who was diabetic, so I quickly got used to not having sugar in anything and using artificial sweeteners in everything instead. As time went on, I found I actually could no longer stomach the taste of sugar either; so I continue to choose artificial over sugar due to what is a disgusting after taste to me.
I constantly “joke” about the fact that I have a memory like a gold fish (see Monty Python’s fish tank skit here), and have just assumed it’s me aging / being built incorrectly. I’ve also recently noticed that around mid afternoon, my eyesight becomes blurred / difficult to focus. I already wear prescription glasses, so my eyesight is not 20/20, but has stabilised over the past 5 years so this is a new phenomenon to me. I’ve been wondering if my sugar levels are taking a dip in the afternoon for some reason, but with the amount of food I eat, this is highly doubtful. My post from Monday asking “How you do it” relates directly to me experiencing increasingly regular periods of interchangeable apathy, depression, tiredness and just general “meh” all round. I also had massive issues with my blood pressure (far too high) earlier this year, which the nursing sister attributed to the Pill (I’m now beginning to think it was not the only culprit in the scenario).
What do all of these things have in common? They’re listed and well documented side effects experienced by people who regularly use products containing Aspartame. We’ve all heard that sweeteners (non natural) are bad for you, can cause headaches, have been banned in the US etc etc… BUT I always dismissed this as the raving of overly sensationalist tree huggers hellbent on bringing down giant corporations for no reason other than to see the world burn. Ignorance is bliss, no? So I’ve never really taken note of the “hubbub” around Aspartame. After all, I tell myself, I smoke (yes, yes I know, please don’t lecture me, k?), so why on earth would I be worried about a sweetener pill (or two) in my coffee?
Well here’s the thing, and bear with me, as this will probably sound ridiculously stupid, but the fact is – WE KNOW SMOKING KILLS US. I know this as well as I know that the sun will rise tomorrow. Did I know that Aspartame can do the same? NO I BLOODY DIDN’T.
What made me finally click, you ask? A colleague at work this morning, while telling me how cutting dairy has helped him tremendously on the weight loss front (he’s also doing LCHF), brought up sweeteners in coffee. He related a story of how his mom used to drink 10 – 15 cups of tea and coffee (EACH, yes, 30 cups of hot steaming liquid a day), every one of those with Canderel in them. If you’re me, that’s 60 tablets a day. He said that his mother started forgetting the simplest of things, and started experiencing really ba mood swings fairly regularly. She cut out the Aspartame, switched to water, and is much better now. As it is, I probably have on average 8 – 10 cups a day, so I’m using 18 tablets a day on average. And my favorite softdrink? Tab.
So, for once, I listened. For once, I clicked. I went onto Google and did a search on Aspartame. The very first result was “Why Aspartame is the most Dangerous..” Yeah. Followed by “Aspartame and it’s role in Cancer” “Aspartame banned…” Aspartame and migraines..” etc etc etc.
Do yourself a favour. Go google it. Sure, there will always be those that holler louder on the net than others and try to make a mountain out of a mole hill, but you should probably read through the known reported side effects. If, like me, you keep nodding while doing so, it’s probably time to throw out that poison dispenser you keep for your coffee / tea breaks.
Here’s a link to get you started: Aspartame Side Effects