If your like me you love Diet Pepsi as a sweet treat on a hot day, and you try to buy foods with no sugar added to try and cut out refined sugars and be little healthier. Sadly, what we’re doing to try and be healthier may actually be seriously harming us!
Browsing through The Huffingtion Post yesterday I cam across an article by Dr. Joseph Mercola M.D. The article ran through the history of aspertame and how it came to be; I have to say my jaw literally dropped. Here’s what I found so scary:
“Aspartame is the most controversial food additive in history, and its approval for use in food was the most contested in FDA history. In the end, the artificial sweetener was approved, not on scientific grounds, but rather because of strong political and financial pressure. After all, aspartame was previously listed by the Pentagon as a biochemical warfare agent!”
This once biochemical warfare agent is being paraded around the food market under names like NutraSweet, Canderel and now AminoSweet. Aspartame can be found in more than 6,000 foods, including soft drinks, chewing gum, table-top sweeteners, diet and diabetic foods, breakfast cereals, jams, sweets, vitamins, prescription and over-the-counter drugs. It’s in almost anything!
All this is making sugar look really good right about now. But with all this scary talk what does aspartame really do to you? While a variety of symptoms have been reported, almost two-thirds of them fall into the neurological and behavioral category consisting mostly of headaches, mood alterations, and hallucinations. The remaining third is mostly gastrointestinal symptoms. Additionally aspartame can alter dopamine levels in your brain. This can lead to symptoms of depression because it distorts your serotonin/dopamine balance. It can also lead to brain tumors through a similar mechanism.
So now what? How can we skip the refined sugars but not treat our bodies as a dumping ground? Dr. Mercola says Stevia is the go to sweetener:
“For those times when you just want a taste of something sweet, your healthiest alternative is Stevia. It’s a natural plant and, unlike aspartame and other artificial sweeteners that have been cited for dangerous toxicities, it is a safe, natural alternative that’s ideal if you’re watching your weight, or if you’re maintaining your health by avoiding sugar.It is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar and truly has virtually no calories.”
I have to say I’m pretty gobsmacked, I knew aspartame was bad for you, but I didn’t know it was this bad! From now on no more aspartame for me, but it’s going to be so hard! I have to say I’m also very scared about how much I’ve taken in.
What’s your take on aspartame? Do you use it and if you do, do you plan to keep using it knowing what you know now?