I avoid consuming the artificial sweetener, aspartame. It is sold in packets and jars in supermarkets under the brand NutraSweet, packets of it are available in restaurants and coffee joints, it can also be found in diet sodas and food. A few of my health/diet-conscious friends who eat well and exercise frequently don’t even know which food contain aspartame and its harmful effects.
Aspartame causes weight gain?
In her book The Scent of Desire, Rachel Herz stated the following:
- A study in 1986 found that women who consumed artificial sweeteners gained instead of lost weight.
- John Blundell in 1986 also published an article stating that aspartame increases appetite. It was observed that after consuming products containing aspartame, individuals increased the amount they ate in a subsequent meal.
- Between 1980 to 2005, the average amount of aspartame per American consumed had doubled. Since aspartame is supposed to replace sugar, we would expect that the amount of sugar consumed per American to reduce but it had in fact increased by 25%.
She commented that whether aspartame makes people fatter is still controversial and unresolved.
Aspartame causes joint pain?
If you’re trying to keep fit or lose weight by exercising, it is important to maintain healthy joints. Many people complain of joint pain – some say from previous injuries or over-exercising and others say from old age. There are many causes of joint pain and consumption of aspartame is said to be one. I know people whose joint pain eased off after stopping aspartame consumption. Someone (whom I don't know personally) wrote about his experience here.
There are many other harmful effects of aspartame. If you do a search on the Internet, you’ll find many. (You can try the links at http://www.321recipes.com/aspartame.html)
When given the choice of which sweetener to use in my hot drinks, my top choice is raw brown (unprocessed) sugar. Otherwise, I take white (processed) sugar or condensed milk. If only artificial sweetener is available, I’d rather have my drink unsweetened.
I think it’s extremely difficult for anyone to totally cut off sugar consumption, although research has shown significant benefits for doing so. I, for one, won’t bother to attempt it - I would probably make me grouchy all day and every day. I still consume sugar daily in my drinks and food. I’d rather consume the calories in natural sweeteners and burn the calories through exercising than consume chemicals that have no proven benefits but only known harmful effects.
Note: There are other artificial sweeteners available such as acesulfame-K, saccharin, sucralose, Alitame and cyclamate. The names sound scary enough to me.