13 Reasons to Avoid Artificial Sweeteners

Whenever we go out to dinner, I can’t help but notice that the sweetener packets still consist of all three colors:  pink, blue, yellow. Here are my top 13 reasons you should avoid all of them.

1. Aspartame (Nutrasweet) can deplete your serotonin levels via phenylalanine, an amino acid. Serotonin helps you stay happy and satiated and when depleted, we feel anxious, irritable, sad, and sleepless.  We also tend to crave carbohydrates.   Unless you want to feel pissed off and fat at the same time, avoid aspartame.

2.  Bonus-low serotonin levels are also correlated with eating disorders.  Think about the number of women who start “diets” and replace sugar with loads and loads of aspartame.  What a cruel paradox-a chemical that women believe will help them lose weight lowers serotonin, causing carb cravings and disturbed body image.

*Read more about how to increase your serotonin levels here.

3. Aspartame is an excitotoxin (via aspartic acid), meaning that it causes your neurons to over fire until they become exhausted and die. Yep, you read that correctly-aspartame kills your brain cells. Not only will aspartame leave you feeling pissed off and fat, you’ll probably lose a few IQ points along the way.  The combination of aspartame and caffeine can create a mild “buzz,” which is the reason that some people are “addicted” to diet Coke.

4. Aspartame is often made with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Animals generally choose to avoid foods containing GMOs, and some studies suggest that the GMOs cause infertility in the grandchildren of the animals who are fed GMOs. Thanks, Monsanto.

5. Aspartame is associated with a amazing number of health problems. In fact, 75-85% of the complaints received by the FDA were related to aspartame until 1992.  At that point, they just stopped counting.  Too tough to count that high.                                  See more details here.

6. Aspartame contains wood alcohol. Would you rather ingest that or have your windows cleaned with it? I’ll take the latter, thanks.

7.  Saccharin causes bladder cancer in mice. I really don’t think we need to know anything more at this point.  Unless you’d like to be wearing adult diapers later on, let’s just avoid saccharin from now on.

8.  Splenda, or sucralose, is a chemical derived from sugar and chlorine, making it a chlorocarbon.  Chlorocarbons are poisonous; they are used in bleach, disinfectants, insecticide, poison gas, and hydrocholric acid.  How tasty.

9.  Sucralose alters healthy gut bacteria.  80% of your immune system is found in your gut, so keep your immune system rolling by avoiding sucralose.

10. Sucralose affects your ability to absorb prescription medication.  It only takes one packet to have that effect, so nix the Splenda.

11.  The US FDA approved sucralose in 1998.  The European FDA still has never approved sucralose as safe for human consumption.  We should pay attention to the foods and medications we use that aren’t approved in Europe.  There’s a reason for it.

12.  The November 1991 edition of “New Scientist” reported the following effects associated with sucralose:

  • Shrunken thymus glands
  • Enlarged liver and kidneys
  • Atrophy of lymph follicles in the spleen and thymus
  • Increased cecal weight
  • Reduced growth rate
  • Decreased red blood cell count
  • Hyperplasia of the pelvis
  • Extension of the pregnancy period
  • Aborted pregnancy
  • Decreased fetal body weights and placental weights
  • Diarrhea

Ladies, let’s pay special attention to the bolded words above.  Extension of pregnancy and aborted pregnancies due to sucralose intake are no good.

13.  Last but not least, avoid the newest sweetener to hit the shelves called Neotame.  This is a derivative of aspartame and was originally produced by a Monsanto.  It’s probably the worst of these choices, so avoid it.

What’s left, you ask?  Stevia and Xylitol. These natural sweeteners work well without adding calories or blood sugar spikes, and they both taste great.  Bonus: Stevia can be beneficial for your adrenals, and Xylitol is known to help prevent cavities.

That’s all from this South Florida mom today, folks.  We moms can make a difference in our health that will stick for generations, so make good choices with your sweeteners.  We can have our health and eat well, too.  Here is a great video for you if you’d like to learn more about aspartame.  It’s called Sweet Misery:  A Poisoned World.  Please pass the stevia.


  1. Maureen Keown says:

    Hey Lisa! I had an extra, unexpected chunk of time in my day & was excited to be able to check out so many posts on Maverick Mom that I never had the chance to read previously. I just have to tell you how amazing and impressive you are!! Both personally and professionally – I admire you. All the best to you & the family!!

  2. maverickmom says:

    Thanks so much, Maureen! Coming from you-an amazing, beautiful, smart, successful mom-that means a lot to me. Thanks for your support and friendship-all my love to the fabulous Keown five!


  1. […] Avoid artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, sucralose (Splenda), and acesulfame potassium.  These are metabolized by your  liver as well, which means that they block your progress.  I’ve already written about all of the reasons to avoid artificial sweeteners here. […]