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How Harmful Are Artificial Sweeteners?


If you use artificial sweeteners, you’ve likely done so with the intention of making a smarter choice – you know that refined white sugars are bad for you, leading to weight gain, liver damage, metabolic dysfunction and more – so an artificial additive is the next best option. Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners are more harmful than you think.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the threats these sugar substitutes can pose on your overall health and wellness:

Artificial Sweeteners: More Harmful Than You Think
“Health experts” and manufacturers have convinced you for years that artificial sweeteners are a healthful replacement for refined sugars, but that’s certainly not the case.

Aspartame, a chemical used as a sugar substitute for many popular artificial sweeteners, is composed of phenylalanine and aspartic acids, according to Dr. Mercola. These two amino acids are harmless when they come from unprocessed foods, but when they go through a chemical manipulation, they can confuse the body and wreak havoc on your system. Some of the immediate side effects of consuming aspartame include:

  • Headaches.
  • Mental confusion.
  • Dizziness.
  • Seizures.
Consuming artificial sweeteners can lead to excessive headaches and dizziness.Consuming artificial sweeteners can lead to excessive headaches and dizziness.

Additionally, a high concentration of aspartame in your body can flood your central nervous system and break down vital brain neurons. Other short- and long-term effects caused by a bad aspartame reaction include:

  • Change in vision.
  • Insomnia.
  • Hallucination.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Hives.
  • Change in mood.
  • Convulsion.
  • Change in heart rate.
  • Abdominal cramps.
  • Rashes.
  • Fatigue.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Joint pain.

Unfortunately, one may even gain weight while using artificial sweeteners. As much as they claim to be a low-calorie, sugar-free or diet option, the phenylalanine and aspartic acid in aspartame stimulate the release of insulin and leptin, two hormones that direct your body to store fat. Phenylalanine can manipulate your leptin levels, the hormone that lets you know when you’re full. This can ultimately lead to heightened sweet cravings, thus leading to weight gain.

Replace Artificial Sweeteners With Natural Options
After all is said and done, it’s in your best interest to avoid any type of artificial additive that will spruce up your meals or beverages. Relying on the natural sustenance that God provided is the easiest way to ensure your health while you curb sweet cravings.

“Whether the studies are available or not, it takes common sense to recognize that only whole, unprocessed foods are what the body can use without harm and artificial sweeteners are not considered whole foods,” said Ann in her book “Unravel the Mystery“.

With that said, raw honey, unsulphured molasses, stevia and organic maple syrup can make healthful, delicious substitutes. Consider these options as you follow a primarily raw, plant-based diet that’s loaded with natural sustenance and free of artificial sweeteners and processed foods.


  1. carolyn b. calhoun June 8, 2017

    How dangerous the combination of the amino acids in the artificial sweeteners….and we all thought we were doing the right thing for body. Thank you for this blog.

  2. Annette June 12, 2017

    Good Blog! I have read over and over this blog..It is truly a real good blog about, thinking about how harmful are artificial sweeteners are! I did not know that a high concentration of aspartame in your body can flood your central nervous system and break down vital brain neurons. Wow! That is great information to know.

  3. I have a question…often stevia in the store will be packaged with maltodextrin?? labeled STEVIA IN THE RAW, maltodextrin is the first ingredient and stevia leaf extract is the other. Is this okay?

    • Melody Hord June 19, 2017

      Hi Jo, I can’t speak to the product in question. I can tell you that Hallelujah Diet uses maltodextrin in their Silica supplement as an anti-clumping agent. It is from non-GMO corn and is gluten-free. A serving is a very small amount of it and Hallelujah Diet believes in their products. Orgono Silica is one of my favorite supplements. I take it regularly.

  4. Connie Gesser August 11, 2017

    It is interesting how artificial sweeteners can lead to weight gain. I once knew a woman who was addicted to diet soda pop. She had a lot of trouble loosing weight. The above paragraph helps explain why she was struggling.

    The artificial sweeteners can be disguised in foods in many ways. I was shocked to find there was an artificial sweetener in a snack bar I used to buy from my local health food store.

  5. Rebecca Selfridge June 26, 2019

    Did I miss something? This article says it will speak to the harm from artificial sweeteners but only describes one, aspartame. What about saccharin and Splenda?

  6. CAROLYN B CALHOUN June 27, 2019

    I wanted to add to my previous response. My grandson is totally addicted to his diet drink. I’m talking at least six cans of pop a day. He is old enough to know better ….so all I can do is leave him the written information. So scary. I can only imagine the kind of condition his kidneys are in.

  7. TBlack June 27, 2019

    So glad that more people are finally acknowledging that artificial sweeteners are bad for you. I had my family doctor tell me over 25 years ago not to use them because they were harmful to your body.

  8. willem July 10, 2019

    Good morning,

    What is the situation with Xilitol. There is a rumour going around that it is very bad for animals, esp. dogs (fake news?). I use it and see it being sold in health food stores, Dischem, etc in South Africa; also promoted by some health care practitioners. Any scientific feedback on this product that you are aware of?

    • Melody Hord July 12, 2019

      It is true that Xylitol can kill a dog. A vet I know was making his patients aware of this, so they didn’t accidently leave a pack a gum somewhere for their dog to get.
      A while back, I started using a toothpaste with Xylitol in it. My two front lower teeth started getting plaque buildup. My dental hygienist said Xylitol increase saliva production and could then increase my plaque buildup. So, I stopped using that.
      Really, the best thing for people to do is to adjust their palate to quit desiring so much sweetness. Foods are sweet enough without adding concentrated sweeteners.

  9. This article is a real eye opener, I use to think it was safe to use an artificial sweetener. I now know different. Stevia is a great substitute!

  10. Brenda Brooks April 14, 2021

    When I used raw sugar and white sugar I never gained weight.
    Then one day the pop/soda companies changed from real sugar to artificial sugars. Thats when I started gaining weight and stated getting tired and losing sleep. Today I stay away from pop because the ingredient is artificial sugar. There are foods we eat that have artifical sugars in them as well. So what does one do. You know most bologna has artificial sugars too as well as sliced ham to canned goods to another more food too.

  11. I appreciate the explanation regarding why the artificial sweeteners are dangerous to the body and the ailments they can cause.

    Good substitutes are raw honey, unsulphured molasses, stevia, organic maple syrup and medjool dates.

  12. Jennnifer April 30, 2021

    Thanks for the information. It’s scary to think we consume food and drinks that can cause that much damage. Thank you for the healthy substitutes.

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