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Aspartame Explained

Aspartame Explained

Nutrition: Aspartame Explained & How It Affects Your Body & Fitness

What is Aspartame? 

How does Aspartame affects your body, health & fitness?

If you are on a strict calorie count, or want to reduce your sugar intake, then you’ve probably considered switching to aspartame. This artificial sweetener – 200 times sweeter than regular sugar – is present in almost all ‘diet’ marketed products. 

A tablespoon of sugar has around 48 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrate. On the other hand, the amount of aspartame needed to sweeten a cup of, say, tea is so minute that it doesn’t even contribute five calories and has zero carbohydrates.

Aspartame consists of two ingredients – aspartic acid and phenylalanine, which are both natural amino acids. Chemist James M. Schlatter discovered it in 1965.

Why is aspartame so popular? 

As mentioned earlier, aspartame is around 200 times sweeter than sugar. And so, you need only a tiny amount to sweeten up any food or drink you intake. 

Substituting sugar with aspartame helps in weight loss by reducing calories without compromising on taste. Apart from this, aspartame has no carbohydrate content. 

Experts also recommend people with diabetes to use aspartame as an alternative to sugar as it does not raise blood glucose levels and contributes to better glycemic control. 

Interestingly, according to the American Dental Association, artificial sweeteners like aspartame helps prevent tooth decay as it doesn’t promote decay-causing acids. 

Is aspartame safe for your body? 

Aspartame has been approved for consumption by over 100 Food and Drugs regulatory bodies in the world, including the US’ Food and Drugs Administration, UK’s Food Standards Agency, Canada and Australia. 

Although, consuming aspartame still invokes controversies and warnings claiming that it is a risk to health. Exhaustive trials on aspartame seem to state that aspartame is safe for human use.

The American Cancer Society in an article quotes that there is no proof to suggest that consuming aspartame causes diseases like leukemia, brain tumors or cancer. 

Is aspartame regulated?

In the United States, the FDA has set the daily intake for aspartame at 50 mg per kg (1 kg = 2.2 lbs.). The European Food Safety Authority sets it a little lower at 40 mg per kg. 

There are some exceptions – people with the metabolism disorder Phenylketonuria (PKU) should avoid using aspartame as it contains phenylalanine.

See Also
What is The Carnivore Diet for Men?

The Bottom Line:

Aspartame has been in use in the US since the 1980s. The calorie-conscious and diabetes patients use it as an alternative to sugar. Aspartame is accepted as a safe ingredient to consume. It is regulated by the FDA and other regulatory bodies and health organizations.

It is the most popular low-calorie sweetener used in consumer foods and beverages worldwide, including diet sodas and other soft drinks, frozen dessert, cereals, sugar-free chewing gum, yogurts, you name it! 

The safety of Aspartame has been widely researched and there is no proof that links it to adversely affecting the human body. 

The only people who should avoid this artificial sweetener are those with Phenylketonuria (PKU). 

Aspartame & Artificial Sweeteners: How the Brain is Affected with Thomas DeLauer

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