The Hazards of Aspartame

By Jeff Quinn

If you think you are choosing a healthier option because you made a decision to have diet soda over a regular soda drink, think again. “Sugar free" may give an impression of healthy alternative, but the truth is that chemical sweeteners are far from healthy.

Aspartame is approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar and has been used in soft drinks and other low-calorie or sugar-free foods throughout the world for more than 25 years. Aspartame is the technical name for the brand names NutraSweet, Equal, and Sweet ‘n Low, and is used to sweeten many foods and products we consume such as diet sodas, yogurts, chewing gum, drink powders and tabletop sweeteners, to name a few.

Aspartame is made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol - a toxic combination that has been linked to brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes. Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives including headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.

It is important to read labels when you are selecting a product. Flavored syrups for coffee, juice and vegetable drinks, flavored water products and protein nutritional drinks often contain aspartame. A general rule of thumb when selecting products is to avoid anything that reads "sugar free". Instead look for products sweetened with sugar (the downside of consuming calories are nothing compared to the toxicity of artificial sweetener) or sweetened with Stevia (Truvia) which is an all-natural, calorie-free sweetener popular among health advocates.

“Don’t eat anything your great-great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. There are a great many food-like items in the supermarket your ancestors wouldn’t recognize as food - stay away from these.” ~ Michael Pollan


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