Just think of the word “artificial”, meaning that it isn’t natural. It is very hard to see how this can be more healthy than a substance that is natural, and which the body breaks down in a natural way.
The fact is that in many cases, artificial sweeteners are not only less healthy, they are actually dangerous. Several have already been banned, but not until many people consumed them.
An excellent example is aspartame, found in NutraSweet and other products. Originally aspartame was for many years blocked for use by the FDA. About 10% of aspartame is methanol (wood alcohol), which breaks down into formic acid and formaldehyde once inside the body. Both of these are toxic. The amount of methanol alone in a standard soft drink is many times higher than the recommended consumption level. In effect, people drinking it are poisoning themselves!
“Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication, and causes birth defects. ” source: http://www.dorway.com/badnews.html
In fact, people have used aspartame as a very effective ant poison! This might not be the safest product to use as a sweetener in soft drinks.
Contrast this with sugar, which is metabolized and broken down into it’s constituent parts: Carbon, Oxygen, and Hydrogen, all of which are normally found in a healthy human body in far greater concentrations than in the sugar. This said, due to the complexity of the table sugar molecule, it isn’t broken down easily. However, the same cannot be said of fruit sugar or fructose, which IS broken down easily, though there are still problems.
With just the one example it is pretty easy to see that artificial sweeteners pose much more of a health threat than sugar. They definitely aren’t healthier than soft drinks containing sugar.
Honey is yet another natural and healthy sweetener. It can be used in soft drinks as well as drinks such as tea, without the problems associated with artificial sweeteners that contain chemicals. It is strange that people would love the idea of organically produced fruits and vegetables, and yet would drink soft drinks containing chemicals they are trying to avoid.
Isn’t it amazing that man keeps on trying to produce something ‘better’ than what mother nature already produces, yet even though we’ve never succeeded to date, we keep trying? The shame is that products that are so dangerous are forced upon people who don’t even know it. They are added to the soft drinks that are consumed, though the consumer is often totally unaware of it. Often times they are even wooed by phrases like “low calorie” or “zero calorie”. People need to become more aware of what constitutes natural and artificial sweeteners.