In an attempt to cut calories so many people go for the little packets of artificial sweeteners instead of a little bit of sugar.

Unfortunately, while you may be cutting a few calories those little packets, or diet sodas, can actually wreak havoc on your health.

Even though it’s not real sugar, artificial sweeteners trick your body into thinking it IS sugar, which means it will create the same reaction. Our bodies automatically kick out more insulin, a fat-storing hormone that contributes to belly fat. AND if that isn’t bad enough studies have found that diet sodas raise the risk of diabetes even more than sugar-sweetened sodas. They also increase our cravings for more sweets, creating a roller coaster of sugar cravings throughout the day.

There are also plenty of negative side effects to consuming artificial sweeteners. Aspartame consumption has been linked to headaches, dizziness, mood swings, abdominal pain, unexplained itching, seizures and memory loss among others. And aspartame is actually a neurotoxin, which means it is toxic to the nerve cells.

Instead of reaching for little packets of poison choose from healthy sweeteners.

Here are some of my favorites:


It’s a great low calorie sugar substitute, which is extracted from a leafy herb. It doesn’t have a significant effect on blood sugar, but may still trick your body into sending mixed hormonal messages so keep your intake under control.

Raw, local honey

Packed with enzymes, minerals and vitamins it can even help build immunity to common allergens. Pasteurization kills most of the health benefits so make sure to keep it raw!

Coconut sugar

A great alternative to use in baking. It’s made from the sweet nectar flower buds of the coconut palm. It’s a wonderfully sweet source of potassium, iron and vitamins. It contains the same calorie and carbohydrate count as cane sugar but it has a lower glycemic index which means your body will produce a much more stable release of glucose in the blood.

Whole pitted dates

Make a great sweet treat and are great to toss into a smoothie for some extra sweetness.

Jacqueline Banks, who grew up in Casa de Campo, is a certified holistic health counselor and busy mother. Her focus is on helping other busy moms in all stages of motherhood keep themselves and families healthy and happy.

She uses natural and organic solutions to solve individual health problems and promote clean living.

Check out her website at: www.jacquelinebanks.com