Many people have replaced the sugar in their diet with highly-refined artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, or saccharin (a.k.a. NutraSweet, Splenda, and Sweet-n-Low).

Artificial sweeteners are found in many processed and so-called “sugar-free” foods. These sweeteners should be avoided because they are toxic to the brain, affect healthy gut bacteria, and may even cause weight gain by deregulating metabolism.

Be careful of claims that artificial sweeteners are “natural” when combined with healthier alternatives like stevia or monk fruit. These sweeteners are primarily chemical sweeteners with a touch of stevia or monk fruit.