Did you know that people who drink diet sodas to lose weight, actually tend to gain weight!? Aspartame is one of those food industry inventions we should have known was too good to be true. A sweet taste, with no calories, that will allow us to consume sweets without the added guilt or damage to our waist lines…who doesn’t wish that was actually possible? But, aspartame is actually linked to over 92 adverse health effects.
Sugar creates its own health problems and aspartame is not a better or healthier alternative, regardless of the calorie savings. Think of this quote, “Would you rather be hit in the head with a wooden bat or a metal bat?”
What is Aspartame?
You probably already know, aspartame is an artificial sweetener known as NutraSweet, Equal, Sweet One or Spoonful, and it’s used in a variety of foods from diet soda, gum, candy, and vitamins.
But, did you know it can be hidden in foods under the name acesulfame potassium. It’s composed of 3 main chemical ingredients: phenylalanine, aspartic acid, and methanol.
Phenylalanine is an amino acid that can be toxic in high doses. Just one diet soda raises the level of phenylalanine in the brain, causing serotonin levels to decrease and may lead to depression. Phenylalanine has been found to be higher in people with cancer.
Aspartic acid is a non-essential amino acid that can over stimulate neurons, causing them to die. It can also cause an amino acid imbalance in the brain. Although phenylalanine and aspartic acid are both amino acids found naturally in foods, they are not meant to be consumed individually and in these particular ratios. The fact that they are separated from food and other naturally occurring amino acids is what leads to the unexpected health consequences seen with aspartame consumption.
Methanol is a type of alcohol that is metabolized into the neurotoxin formaldehyde. It can interfere with DNA formation and lead to birth defects, like spina bifida.
Aspartame and Weight Gain?
Aspartame can stimulate your appetite and increase cravings for carbohydrates. The calorie “savings” from consuming foods sweetened with aspartame ends up not saving you anything due to the increase in appetite and therefore calorie consumption.
The MESA study evaluated the effect of diet soda consumption on rates of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes in over 6,000 participants. It was found that the consumption of just one diet soda per day significantly increased the risk for increased waist circumference and elevated fasting glucose. Both of these are precursors to diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Aspartame and Illness
The list of medical conditions linked to aspartame consumption is extensive and includes:
- short term memory loss
- multiple sclerosis
- hearing loss
- weight gain
- brain tumors
Overall, limit or eliminate your consumption of aspartame. Instead of aspartame as a sweetener choose raw local honey, raw coconut nectar, or natural stevia.
- Even though it has no calories, aspartame is more harmful than sugar.
- Aspartame is made up of three highly toxic chemicals.
- Consuming diet beverages, sweetened with aspartame, can lead to weight gain.
- Several medical conditions have been linked to aspartame consumption from cancer, birth defects, stroke, and autoimmune disease.