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Is Aspartame as Bad as Sugar or Worse?

Jul 9th, 2012

AspartamePeople who count the calories they consume, turn to diet sodas. After all, sugar is the only thing that make colas bad for your health, right? Not so.

Diet colas contain Aspartame, which is a much-debated ingredient in diet food and beverages. They are commonly known as Equal, Nutrasweet, Spoonful, Sweet One and Equal-Measure.

Aspartame had been linked to Migraines, weight gain, nausea, vision problems, dizziness, muscle spasms, fatigue, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, vertigo, heart palpitations, vertigo and memory loss among others.

And those who already have illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, mental retardation, brain tumors, birth defects, lymphoma, fibromyalgia and diabetes are said to feel their condition worsen when consuming these products.

However, the FDA has defended aspartame saying there is no clear and concrete evidence pointing to aspartame as the reason for causing the health problems mentioned. They further indicated that aspartame is “one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved”. They believe that the negative claims are nothing more than a highly publicized smear campaign. They assert that the smear campaign was only initiated by one person who spread the word through mass email.

What can we substitute for aspartame? These are the names that usually come up when you’re searching for aspartame or sugar substitutes:

  • Xylitol – Unlike aspartame which is artificial, xylitol is a natural sweetener from fruits, vegetables and mushrooms. It is safe especially for diabetics because it has a low glycemic index and has lower calories than sugar.

 

  • Stevia – an herb from South America; claims to have no carbohydrates, no glycemic index and no calories

 

  • Saccharin – a synthetic compound that’s sweeter than sugar but has no calories

 

  • Sucralose – an artificial sweetener made from sugar but has no calories

Professional opinions say that until medically proven, aspartame is not a health hazard. Despite this however, much is still said about the negative effects one might get when consuming aspartame. I myself have refrained from using products with aspartame when I learned about the possible health issues.
There may be no known harm in using aspartame; but by not using it, I am eliminating the risk. How about you? Do you feel safer using it versus sugared products?

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