What is Aspartame?

There are more and more sugar substitutes and alternatives being developed in contemporary society. Sugar is an integral component of the foods we consume on a daily basis, therefore it is important to be aware of what sort of sweetener is being used in the foods we are eating.

Aspartame is arguably the most popular sugar substitute on the market today. It was originally developed in 1965, and according to Wikipedia, it is a “methyl ester of the aspartic acid/phenylalanine dipeptide”. Don’t worry, I have no clue what the hell that means either.

I have heard several accounts of the dangers affiliated with aspartame, and so I decided to conduct some research on this sweetener and see for myself why it is considered to be a harmful substance for the human body.

Some of the most popular forms of aspartame sweeteners include Splenda and Equal, and these sugar substitutes most commonly occur in diet foods because they have no caloric content. They are often used in items such as diet sodas, fruit juices, gum, yogurt, baked goods and candies, however they are making their way into more and more grocery items. Numerous medical studies have suggested that aspartame can be linked to cancer, therefore if you wish to abstain from consuming this product some healthier alternatives include honey, maple syrup, agave nectar and molasses.

I enjoy adding a bit of sweetness to my coffee, therefore I have been using Stevia. Stevia is derived from the Stevia plant which is a member of the Asteraceae family. Select Stevia species are native to New Mexico, Arizona and Texas, however the true Stevia plant grown in Paraguay and Brazil. Inhabitants of Paraguay and Brazil have been using leaves from the Stevia plant to add sweetness to their foods for centuries, and in some regions Stevia is used as a medicinal ingredient to treat burns, colic, stomach ailments and even as a contraceptive.

I am no medical expert, but I think it is safe to say that you should avoid investing aspartame if and when possible. Determine what healthier and safer alternatives suit your preferences and let me know your favourite!

 

 

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