I managed to go five full days without any artificial sweeteners at all. And let me tell you, I was careful! I even gave up my favorite Eclipse gum!! I started to have a piece, but then checked the label and immediately threw the piece away. Aspartame is a very common ingredient! I'm thinking that five days is a good amount of time to be able to post a review of my findings.
I do have to say that I did not learn that I was having major issues from ingesting the Splenda and Aspartame. However, I did find that there WERE interesting side effects. During my time of non-sweeteners, there were two things that I definitely noticed which made a lasting impression.
First, I have not been experiencing my usual mid-afternoon crash time. Generally, around 3:00, I am just so sleepy that I have to lie down for just a short time to recharge. I just figured that was my norm and never even considered it could be related to anything in my diet. Now I believe that it is related to the sweeteners, since I frequently have coffee with Splenda in the morning and a diet soda with lunch. Interesting, eh??
And the second, and most noteworthy effect of eliminating the sweeteners, is that I have not been as hungry! I haven't had the urge to snack in the early afternoon (which was a constant with me) or in the later evenings. That's kind of nice!! I get the "munchies" often, and that has not happened on my sweetener fast. Isn't THAT something?? I've actually lost almost a pound over the 5 days without changing my diet in any way AND with eating real sugar...gotta love that!
I guess my conclusion from my experiment is that I DO experience "side effects" from the artificial sweeteners, but nothing that seems detrimental to my health in general. I have decided that I am going to limit the sweeteners, but not go out of my way to avoid them. For instance, I love my 8th Continent Soy Milk. It has less than 2% sucralose in it. I am going to allow myself up to a cup of that every couple of days, which shouldn't have an impact. On the flip side, I am going to stop drinking sweeteners in my coffee. I have learned that 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar is perfect for me, and since it's only 24 calories, why not?? It's definitely going to save me calories in the long run from what I've learned here!
I will miss things like my Fiber One yogurt, but I am going to stop eating products that are heavily-laden with artificial sweeteners. I am sure I will find other things to fill the void that are better for me overall. The jury is still out on my Eclipse Gum. I will probably give it up, but I sure do love the stuff....
I would love to hear anyone's thoughts on the sweetener issue. Have you tried going without it and found similar results? I am glad that I tried this. It was definitely educational and I'm making permanent changes as a result. Change is good. :-)