Epilepsy Talk

What’s Sweeter than Sugar and Good for You Too? | March 25, 2018

For many, high sugar intake can cause seizures…along with emotional instability…dizziness…depression…food allergies…diabetes…and osteoporosis…to name just a few.

Even worse, aspartame interacts with anti-seizure medication.

And over the years, various reports have implicated aspartame in headaches, memory loss, seizures, vision loss, coma, and cancer.

It also appears to worsen or mimic the symptoms of such conditions as fibromyalgia, MS, lupus, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, chronic fatigue, and depression.

And, after receiving some 10,000 consumer complaints, the FDA compiled a list of 92 symptoms linked to aspartame — including death.

But there are two healthy alternatives…

XYLITOL is not only a safe, natural sweetener without the bad side-effects of sugar and artificial substitutes. It’s also good for your teeth, stabilizes insulin and hormone levels and promotes good health. 

In fact, it’s one of the most important alternatives to sugar.

Xylitol occurs naturally and can be found in the fibers of many fruits such as berries, plums, other fruits, along with vegetables, including various corn husks, oats, and mushrooms.

And it’s especially useful for those who have to monitor their sugar intake, like diabetics and those with hyperglycemia.

This tolerance is attributed to the lower impact of xylitol on a person’s blood sugar, compared to that of regular sugars and it also has a very low glycemic index of 13 (glucose has a GI of 100).

More good news for those with epilepsy, diabetes and dieters alike. One teaspoon (5 gm) of xylitol contains 9.6 calories, as compared to one teaspoon of sugar, which has 15 calories.

And it has virtually no aftertaste.

Xylitol looks, feels and tastes exactly like sugar and can replace sugar in cooking, baking or as a sweetener for beverages.

And it’s more than just a substitute.

It’s a therapeutic sweetener.

Xylitol toothpaste and chewing gum and mints even promote dental health against cavities and tooth decay!  Plus it helps with the dry mouth that many of us suffer from with AEDs.

All you have to do is brush your teeth with xylitol toothpaste (I use it twice a day), chew the gum or suck a xylitol mint after every meal.  Simple enough!

STEVIA is a small green plant, produced from a member of the daisy family.

It’s the world’s only all-natural sweetener with zero calories, zero carbohydrates and a zero glycemic index.

These attributes make stevia a great alternative to sugar or chemical sweeteners. It’s sweet, refreshing taste can be up to 30 times sweeter than sugar.

And various studies have found the leaf to contain proteins, fiber, carbohydrates, iron, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, zinc, true Vitamin A, Vitamin C and an oil which contains 53 other constituents, which is why it’s marketed as a supplement.

Because our bodies don’t metabolize the sweet components of stevia (they pass right through the normal elimination channels) there are obviously no calories.

And in its pure form, stevia has no adverse affect on blood glucose levels and it’s safe for both diabetics and hypoglycemics.

For people with blood sugar, blood pressure or weight problems stevia is also a winner.

And, like xylitol, it discourages plaque build up and helps prevent cavities.

Plus, it’s a wonderful low-carbohydrate, low-sugar food alternative.

Especially popular as a sweetener for coffees and teas, stevia can also be used in cooking and baking, helping you reduce your calorie intake and stay healthy.

There are loads of recipes on the web which include the amount and form (powder or concentrate) of stevia needed.

In fact, finding recipes for xylitol and stevia is a slam dunk! 

So, I’d call it a win-win in all ways!


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  1. Strange how FDA allows other names for ASPARTAME to be used in naming it in all generic names of drugs, especially all neurological & AED’s of the generic names. Using the names of SUCRALOSE, DEXTROSE, HIGH FRUTOSE CORN SYRUP, & MALTODEXTRIN can all be other names for ASPARTAME, not to mention CITRIC ACID which with MALTODEXTRIN is becoming the top 2 names used to fool people where you are to believe that NO ASPARTAME or MSG is to be in that food, drink or drug you daily are having. I was told any name of a chemical with O S E being the last 3 letters are known for being a artificial sweetener, but STEVIA of the all natural & pure STEVIA can have MALTODEXTRIN & CITRIC ACID in it. So I am sure they can be in the XYLITOL that I do not use, because I found a good & safe STEVIA which are fewer & fewer by the day to find. http://www.mpwhi.com < That site will explain how the wicked & evil are doing what has happened to all the sugar replacement sweeteners that WILL cause seizures, if you do not know what you are using & how ADDICTIVE that can be, where STEVIA THAT IS GOOD does not make you crave to have more later. Ever notice too,, how many people who uses these sugar substitutes how BIG & OVER WEIGHT most of them are ? MALTODEXTRIN & CITRIC ACID are in the drugs, foods, & drinks, not just sugar substitute sweeteners. like SPLENDA, NUTRASWEET , SWEET & LOW & etc…. So any sugar when not used abundantly is safe. Sugar on FRIED TOMATOES is just 1 example. No seizures happen from the natural glutamate that can trigger a seizure from the tomato alone, BUT when added SUGAR to SLICES OF FRIED TOMATOES, no glutamate seems to flood my brain & NO GRAND MAL SEIZURES happen. I'll never use ASPARTAME, or any other sugar replacements but MAYBE STEVIA on fried tomatoes. SUGAR is safe for me otherwise. So HOW IS IT ? That the drug industries are allowed to use ASPARTAMES in all neurological drugs & the O T C drugs, and we wonder why people are having MORE seizures ? This is why I say NO neurologists will never be unemployed or need JOB SECURITY as ASPARTAME & M S G, along with smart & cell phones have promised that for them.


    Comment by C D — March 25, 2018 @ 1:05 PM

    • Good points. But sugar on slices of fried tomatoes? It seems to go against all that I’ve learned.

      But maybe I should share your suggestion and try that! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 25, 2018 @ 1:13 PM

    • Sucralose, Dextrose, Maltodextrin, and High Fructose Corn Syrup are different types of sugars. They are not the same as Aspartame. Sucralose is what you find in Splenda. Aspartame is what they usually call Equal. All still have an impact on blood sugar, but they aren’t the same sweetner or origin. Dextrose and Maltodextrin are often from corn. High Fructose Corn Syrup is made by adding sugar to the natural sweetener found in fruit(Fructose) to create a syrup derived from corn. Corn is overall bad for people who have Epilepsy, unless it’s Organic(which most of the time in foods it’s not, they contain GMO’s aka Genetically Modified Organisms). I have seen Sucralose and Maltitol used as bases in prescription medications too. Sometimes Sucralose is also used as an inactive ingredient in pill forms. I don’t like that they use the unhealthy syrups and sugars in prescription drugs, but that’s the agenda of Big Pharma to keep people dependent on their drugs, not to make you healthy.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by trekkie80sgirl — August 4, 2021 @ 11:23 AM

  2. i use sweet and low is that ok


    Comment by pooterbear — March 25, 2018 @ 1:29 PM

    • That’s saccharin, a whole different animal.

      Saccharin sodium is a type of artificial sweetener that is sweeter than sucrose but has a bitter aftertaste.

      Saccharin sodium is often used to sweeten soft drinks, candy, biscuits, medicine and toothpaste.

      Prior to the year 2000, the Food and Drug Administration required that a warning label be placed on products containing saccharin sodium due to its possible health risks.

      But in 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency removed saccharin sodium from its list of hazardous materials.

      However, ingesting saccharin sodium may still cause some side effects.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 25, 2018 @ 6:05 PM

  3. SWEET & LOW never. I was told to use that years ago and I had MORE petit mal seizures, long with taking more AED’s than I needed. Plus all those drug were all with MAGNESIUM STEARATE that blocked up & stopped my digestive system. All the chemicals then that I knew nothing about was working against me as it still can be the same way today IF I am dumb enough to ignore them all. I learned then in the early 1970’s, when SUGAR was used instead, everything was fine and sugar today is not as bad as everyone says unless you use too much of it. SUGAR on fried tomatoes with buttered bread, homemade bread or rolls at that is a meal of its own. Test your brain & eat a TOMATO as is with out any sugar on a sandwich or however. Check out hours later or whenever IF you have a seizure or any seizure activity with out much or any sugar in the diet. A TOMATO has it’s own sources of GLUTAMATE, as I am guessing the tomato acid is what forms the GLUTAMATE,, but the SUGAR is spread of a fried tomato, that acid gets neutralized by the sugar, according to how my brain responds & teaches me what seems to happen to foods & how brain chemistry is affected. So WHY don’t neurologists for this reason LOOK AT HOW ASPARTAME & M S G along with NITRITES in all foods & drinks affects all of brain health from seizures, MS attacks, FIBRO PAIN, & alike ? They know that they better not blame their own BREAD & BUTTER called MSG & ASPARTAME. Instead of BUTTER I use pure 100% VIRGIN COCONUT OIL, and like sugar substitutes, you better KNOW what you are buying when you buy COCONUT OIL. CARRINGTON FARMS is a good & safe buy. You can also fry all foods with it too & eliminate ALL vegetable & conola & soy oils, anything HYDROGENATED / HYDROGENIZED stays on the store shelves. That means NO MICROWAVE FOODS or FAST FOODS get eaten or bought to begin with.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by C D — March 25, 2018 @ 2:53 PM

  4. The Scandal of Aspartame



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 25, 2018 @ 6:10 PM

  5. Monk fruit is another no calorie option that is in the same league as stevia.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by paleobird — March 25, 2018 @ 6:40 PM

  6. Thanks. Another good suggestion Paleobird!

    Here’s some info for those who have never heard of Monk fruit — like me!



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 25, 2018 @ 7:47 PM

  7. aspartame gave me headaches; is Splenda okay?


    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Karen Frandsen — March 27, 2018 @ 11:06 AM

  8. Thanks for the information. What about the coconut sugar?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Linda Mgweba — October 24, 2019 @ 1:25 PM

    • I really don’t have an answer for that. 😦

      I know that sugar in it’s own right is bad for you.
      Stevia and Xytol are better.

      But I’ve never heard anything about coconut based sugar.

      It would seem sensible to me.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 24, 2019 @ 1:46 PM

  9. Another great natural sugar is Monk Fruit. It also doesn’t have an impact on blood sugar levels. We have been using that, Stevia, and Xylitol(best one for you is the one made from Birch, others can be made from corn and therefore Genetically Modified). Lakanto makes great Monk Fruit Sweetners, they are usually combined with Erythritol. Erythritol isn’t a bad sugar alcohol, but some people don’t like the cooling effect it has. There’s some straight up Monk Fruit Sweetners though too. I think for cooking though the combination is better. Allulose is also gaining popularity too and tastes great. It can act similarly to Xylitol in some recipes. Sugar alcohols don’t have an impact on blood sugar. The real worst sugar alcohol that is often used in Medicine and sugar-free products is Maltitol which can give people gas and diarrhea.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by trekkie80sgirl — October 26, 2019 @ 1:19 AM

  10. The Monk Fruit sweetener is a great tip.

    For those that don’t know about it, here’s some info:


    And as you said: Lakanto makes great Monk Fruit Sweeteners, that are usually combined with Erythritol.

    Thanks lots!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 26, 2019 @ 9:23 AM

  11. i noticed after having a seizure , i need some kind of sweetness & worst migraine ever .. my mom always had tangerine juice , { couldnt handle OJ } , my dad gave me a mounds bar { dark chocolate & coconut } worked wonders .. now , have organic coconut on hand .. yes heard stories on the diet sugar , grapefruits worst for seizures & HBP { HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE } plus the acid from grapefruit would counteract, with meds

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Cathy Flowers — November 25, 2019 @ 10:27 AM

  12. Do you think the craving for sugar could be a precurser to diabetes?

    Your’re absolutely right about the grapefruit.

    And coconut can be a wonderful resource, too.

    The Miracle of the Coconut



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 25, 2019 @ 11:03 AM

    • OMG. Doesn’t exactly jive with my research, does it?

      Have you ever tried monkfruit? Some our readers swear by it.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 24, 2021 @ 9:54 AM

  13. can you have monk sugar with having epilepsy? is it a safe alternative to have without triggering a seizure?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Mrs. Gallo — April 3, 2021 @ 9:36 AM

  14. YES! Monk fruit sweeteners are made from the fruit’s extract. They may be blended with dextrose or other ingredients to balance sweetness. Monk fruit extract is 150 to 200 times sweeter than sugar. The extract contains zero calories, zero carbohydrates, zero sodium, and zero fat.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 3, 2021 @ 9:41 AM

  15. tried Stevia, made my stomach cramp up and very sweet to my taste .. i use my MIL’s ways of sugar , honey , for my teas or coffee .. not much though .. for cooking i use coconut sugar { organic } same with certain oils , too , veggie / canola not allowed , either olive oil or coconut oil .. mostly everything from flour , to even coffee & tea is organic .. sure i buy C& H for my birds { hummers }

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Cathy Flowers — August 4, 2021 @ 9:02 AM

  16. I look forward to new information! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Jackie — August 4, 2021 @ 9:05 AM

  17. In all the YEARS I have seen a Neurologist, not even one has mentioned the health risks in using these sweeteners! It’s ALWAYS about *PHARMA!

    In restaurants, now, they provide ALL sweeteners EXCEPT for *Stevia. I have started carrying a small “Zip-Loc” bag with some in my pocket book.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Effie Erhardt — August 4, 2021 @ 11:47 PM

  18. Effie, not to sound like a copy-cat, but so do I.

    Options for healthy food can often be limited. But in all fairness, the restaurants don’t know (or care). They buy what they’re sold.

    The same can be said for doctors!!!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 5, 2021 @ 9:07 AM

  19. Does anyone know of a tooth whitener without an artificial sweetener and is safe for epileptics? Many seem to have saccharine in them. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Susan Vander Veer — January 15, 2023 @ 10:39 PM

    • I know this is a stupid answer, but could you call a dental school to find out???


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 16, 2023 @ 8:43 AM

      • My dentist hadn’t a clue and hers had saccharine in it. But, good idea, I will call a dental school. Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Susan Vander Veer — January 16, 2023 @ 9:01 AM

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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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