Monday, February 22, 2010

Why we avoid artificial sweeteners

I've never had a good feeling about consuming artificial sweeteners. From my understanding, they were developed to give an alternative to people with conditions such as diabetes, not for the average person to use (I feel the same way about formula - it was designed for mothers/children with no other options). I am thankful they exist for those who truly need it, but I don't think most people should use them on a regular basis. Especially kids!
It may be easy to assume that it is ok to give your children diet soda because it doesn't have any calories, but many doctors believe that aspartame and sucralose are not safe for children. Many products geared toward children, such as yogurt, ice cream, popsicles, juices, and cereal (watch for the word "light" or "sugar free"), contain artificial sweeteners, so read the labels!

Plus, by giving our kids the green light to consume these products, they are training their taste buds to prefer the taste of artificially sweet foods instead of the natural sweetness that comes with fruits and vegetables. If you need a sweetener in a liquid form, try local honey!

In my heart and through much personal research, I feel much better about letting my children have a little bit of real sugar here and there rather than giving them artificial ingredients that could have a much more damaging effect.

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