The Artificial Sweetener Aspartame. What is it?
It’s so important to read your nutritional labels. Nowadays out of habit will read a box label which promotes a “healthy” item and we assume its healthy. Well, think again! Many times there are hidden ingredients that if we knew were in them we would not purchase them. My rule of thumb, if you can’t pronounce it, it’s probably not good for you. Today lets talk about aspartame. Yes, I can pronounce this word, but this is something you want to consume sparingly.
Aspartame is very popular and I’m sure you have heard of the word being referenced before. Its one of the most popular artificial sweeteners that you can buy and is also one of the most controversy sweeteners. You will find aspartame in a lot of “diet” food items as well as flavored waters. You will also see it called “equal/NaturalSweet.”
What is Aspartame:
There are 2 naturally occurring amino acids, aspartic acid, and phenylalanine which makes up aspartame. Our bodies will break down aspartame and when it is broken down it becomes methanol. Methanol is toxic in large numbers, but small amounts are not harmful to our bodies. Aspartame is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Most likely if you see a label that states the product is sugar-free, more then likely there is an artificial sweetener. You can find aspartame in sugar-free ice cream, sodas, and sugar-free gum. Also, it was stated by the American Cancer Society that aspartame is approximately 200x sweeter than sugar, which leads to smaller amounts consumed. The FDA states an acceptable daily intake of aspartame is 50 milligrams per kilogram of the body. What does that mean?? 1 can of diet soda is about 185 milligrams, and .45kilograms equals 1lb. So that means a 120lb person would have to drink around 17 cans of soda.
Natural Options to Substitute Aspartame:
There are natural options to substitute aspartame including, honey and agave. But remember these items will have high sugar contents. Make sure you consume in moderation and follow the serving sizes recommended.
In conclusion, aspartame is an artificial sweetener made up of two naturally occurring amino acids, aspartic acid, and phenylalanine acid. Aspartame is also FDA approved. There has been scientific research conducted, but there hasn’t been any consistent proof of harm.
I do consume aspartame, and I also consume sugar-free items. Its all about moderation and seeing how your body reacts to it. So like anything do your research and see how the item makes you feel. AND don’t forget to read your nutrition labels and recommended serving sizes.