I want to share a story with you shared with me by one of my clients in the hopes that may be helpful for you or someone you know.
During our first session, she told me about a rash that she had developed that spread over her body and that was so itchy that, as she describes it, she couldn’t dig down to the bone far enough to scratch it. She visited several doctors and dermatologists who couldn’t figure out the source of it, until one finally suggested it must be an allergy.
She went home and thought about what she was doing on a daily basis that might be the cause. At the time, she was drinking Waist Watcher’s diet soda that’s sweetened with sucralose (Splenda). So she did a search on the internet for sucralose and rash and sure enough, forums popped up filled with people complaining about the same symptoms from using sucralose and her rash was identical to the rashes that were described. So she stopped drinking the soda and lo and behold, the rash went away. And when she tried the soda again, the rash returned. She was also able to help a number of her patients (she’s a nurse practitioner) who were having the same problem.
Sadly enough, when she contacted the makers of Splenda, they denied that it could be causing the problem. The makers of Waist Watcher’s soda; however, were interested in what she had to say.
The scientific data on whether or not artificial sweeteners are safe is inconclusive, although reading about it was enough to give me whiplash. For example, one study that concluded that sucralose impaired gut microflora in mice was quickly deemed flawed by a “panel of experts” on the subject.
If you suspect that you do have issues with sucralose, or any artificial sweeteners for that matter, “do the experiment” and eliminate it from your diet. Then, if you’re not convinced, “challenge yourself with it again to see if your problem comes back. In addition, to help you identify potential sources that may be hiding out in your diet, visit Food Facts for a list of foods that are made with specific artificial sweeteners. You’ll be surprised where they’re showing up, such as in canned fruit, yogurt, jams and jellies, popcorn, vitamins, ketchup, protein powders, frozen meals and sparkling water.
Why else might you want to remove artificial sweeteners from your diet? More on this next week…
Image courtesy of Keerati