This weeks Topic of the Week.
Aspartame AKA Nutrasweet Leads to Weight Gain
Aspartame is the most used artificial sweetener with sales of over $630 million per year with 70% of sales in diet sodas. Aspartame is also found in most chewing gums including some children’s gum. It is also found in low fat yogurts, other drinks, as well as baked and diet goods.
A study by the University of Texas Health Sciences Center showed that for every can or bottle a person consumes each day, they had a 41% chance increase in being overweight. In 1986, the American Cancer Society found that people that were not actively “dieting” actually saw an increase in weight gain when consuming aspartame.
In the body aspartame breaks down into phenylalanine, aspartic acid, and a small amount of methanol (wood alcohol). When we ingest aspartame, the phenylalanine and aspartic acid will spike the release of insulin, removing glucose from the blood and storing it as fat. This leads to increased hunger and sugar cravings. Also, phenylalanine will depress seratonin levels, leading to depression and mood swings (many people eat when they are depressed).
Because aspartame is significantly sweeter than sugar, it can alter peoples perception on what is sweet, which leads to increased sweet consumption.
Aspartame can also cause headaches, change in vision, fatigue, abdominal cramping, rashes, and seizures. Most of the time, the initial start of the symptoms are not dramatic, they show up gradually over time. Only by going off of the chemical, and having the symptoms disappear can a relationship be linked.
It must be noted that Splenda aka sucralose, also causes weight gain. It kills off the beneficial bacteria of the gut as well as interfere with fat soluble nutrients and should also be avoided.
If you’re thirsty, stick with water.