Aspartame pros and cons
Is aspartame as good as it seems?
Aspartame, as well as other artificial sweeteners, give you all the great taste without eating sugar. Everyone says, '"Well that's great!"
But did you know that when we give our children as well as ourselves sugar free drinks, there are some severe health problems that may be caused by aspartame? Read on to find out more.
Aspartame is a new artificial sweetener used in the market, used in many food product commonly consumed by humans. It is contained in products such as gum, carbonated drinks (especially diet pop like coca-cola) , candies, and dairy products to name a few. It was first introduced in the 1980s, and some research pertaining to its effects has been performed. The results indicate that aspartame poses some benefits, as well as some potential health risks. Therefore it is important for the consumer to become aware and educated regarding the effects of aspartame. As educated consumers, we can then decide wether the benefits gained from consuming aspartame outweighs the potential risks.
Since health risks always reach the news headlines, the focus seems to be on the negative effects of aspartame consumption. However, aspartame does have some benefits. Aspartame is 200 more times sweeter than sugar, with a remarkably low calorie count. Only the smallest amount of aspartame is needed to sweeten drinks, as well as other products. Therefore the calorie consumption is virtually negligible. This is a benefit for individuals who need to be aware of intake of calories. Aspartame is also used to intensify flavours, and is very good for individuals who have diabetes, because they can eat "better tasting" foods without having to worry about raising their sugar levels. An additional benefit of aspartame, is that unlike sugar it does not promote tooth decay.
There are however some health risks with aspartame consumption. There has been experiential data linking aspartame to cancer. This data is often difficult to translate to humans, since the data was derived from animal testing. Test results may be flawed to a certain extent due to experimental factors that were not taken into account, causing cancer to occur, but as a result of a combination of other factors and not aspartame. Aspartame is also known to be linked with other health problems such as headaches, memory loss, seizures, and vision loss etc. But it is difficult to determine if aspartame is causing these effects because there are other components/aspects that can also cause or contribute to these health related problems such as stress, inactivity, genetics, and an improper diet. Some scientists have even claimed that aspartame, because of its low carbohydrate quantity, will cause carbohydrate cravings which will cause people to eat more fatty foods, thus obesity. Claims like this, make you wonder wether the "benefits" above, really will benefit anyone at all.
In conclusion, although it may be difficult to completely ignore aspartame, I believe that people should try to limit their intake of aspartame until more conclusive evidence has been found on the health risks of consuming aspartame. Why would you want to consume dangerous substances when there are plenty of other better tasting, and healthier food choices that do not pose any health risks?
Common Aspartame ProductsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Do you think that people should avoid consuming products that contain aspartame?
Aspartame is a non-nutritive artificial sweetener used in many products to give a sweet flavor to food without adding calories. P.S. There are a lot of biased articles out there. I believe this one to be less biased.
- Aspartame | Separating Fact From Fiction about Aspartame
The truth about Aspartame from medical associations, healthcare professionals, nutrition experts and regulatory authorities.