Aspartame is one of the most common and controversial among artificial sweeteners. In recent years, this zero-calorie sweetener has been the subject of intense scrutiny. It can be found in a number of foods and beverages as a sugar substitute.
Aspartame has been linked to all kinds of negative health conditions.
Since it entered the market 30 years ago, it has been associated with a wide array of health problems, including but not limited to:
Aspartame is a “multipotential carcinogenic agent,” or substance that encourages the growth of many kinds of cancer, according to Care2.com.
In a study involving rats, which were given four to five bottles of diet soda daily, researchers found that the animals developed cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia. Dr. Morando Soffritti, the researcher behind this shocking experiment, stated that the cancer was the result of methanol production. This methanol turns into the carcinogenic formaldehyde when broken down.
A number of studies showed that aspartame can actually increase waist circumference and weight. One possible reason is that the sweetness tricks your body into expecting a set number of calories to come with the taste. This confusion makes your body respond through fluctuations in your weight. Another theory states that this may be due to aspartame making it difficult for you to control your appetite. But another theory suggests that aspartame negatively impacts gut flora composition, thus changing how your body stockpiles fat. Whatever the exact mechanism, aspartame won’t be doing your waistline any favors.
Aspartame puts you at higher risk of diabetes. This is caused by the additional weight as well as its effects on your gut flora. The unbalance ratio of good-to-bad gut bacteria causes inflammation and encourages glucose intolerance. Apart from this, another bodily response brought on by the aforementioned confusion is that your body produces way too much insulin.
Aspartame Is Made From Genetically Modified Bacteria
It is a fecal matter of genetically modified Escherichia coli. Aspartame, when created, involves feeding and cultivating cloned E. coli until the required byproduct is excreted, according to GreenMedInfo.com. This byproduct, proteins containing aspartic acid-phenylalanine amino acid segments, is treated with methanol or wood alcohol before being debenzylated. You’re exposing yourself to GMOs every time you take a swig of diet soda or drizzle on sugar-free ketchup.
How Can I Avoid Aspartame?
By looking at the label, you can easily tell whether a certain product contains aspartame or not. A food product has aspartame if it touts itself as being “sugar-free.” Always check the ingredients list, as smart manufacturers will include aspartame under names like “NutraSweet.” Some products that usually have aspartame in them are:
- Diet Sodas
- Yogurt and yogurt drinks
- Breakfast cereals
- Hot chocolate
- Ice cream
- Meal replacement bars and shakes
- Flavored water
- Chewable vitamins
Moreover, there are natural ways for you to sweeten your meals. Maple syrup, raw honey, and coconut sugar are popular choices. You can also purée your favorite fruits if you want a truly healthy and fresh sweetener.