Aspartame is an artificial sweetener which is to say that it is not derived from any natural or raw food. It is synthesized and processed completely in a laboratory or a food manufacturing factory. It was invented in 1965 and has since been used widely as a substitute for regular sugar in various commercial food and beverage products.
This sweetener is described as non-nutritive and non-saccharide. That means it contains no nutritional substances and is not some form of sugar compound. It is in fact mostly made up of two particular types of amino acids. The brand “AminoSweet” is a more accurate name for it than the popular “NutraSweet”.
The Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends that you avoid using aspartame. There are far safer and less controversial natural sweeteners available. A food additive that supplies nothing but sweetness won’t help you achieve your goals of Superhuman health.
Besides having no nutritional value whatsoever, aspartame has also been consistently linked to a few negative health effects. Continue reading so you can make a more informed decision about this artificial sweetener.
Aspartame Health Risks
One supposed health benefit that’s often touted about aspartame is that it can help in weight loss. This isn’t due to any interactions of the sweetener within the body. It has more to do with the fact that it’s around 200 times sweeter than sucrose. So even though a gram of aspartame produces 4 kilocalories, consumers tend to use less because of its enhanced sweetness.
Thus advertisers say aspartame has a negligible caloric effect. Of course if the sweetener is used as an additive in a commercial food or drink product that contains highly refined carbohydrates, aspartame’s low caloric impact should not be your only concern.
When it comes to possible diseases or disorders caused by aspartame, the debate seems to be ongoing. On the one hand are studies that link it to major illnesses like cancer while on the other are government food regulation agencies that criticize such studies as flawed or inconclusive. To better understand the potential health risks of aspartame, one needs to look into the sweetener’s main chemical components and what they turn into once consumed.
Aspartame is made up of two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, plus methanol. This third main component when metabolized by the body turns into formaldehyde and formic acid. These chemicals are naturally present in the body but only in very low and controlled levels. Formaldehyde and methanol are known for their toxicity and it only takes very little additional amounts to be introduced into the bloodstream for symptoms such as headaches and nausea to appear. Chronic exposure leads to bigger problems such as changes in the immune and nervous systems.
Numerous negative effects attributed to aspartame have been reported to the FDA. At the very least this should make you wonder about the safety of this artificial sweetener. Even if each of the complaints is disproven and aspartame is unquestionably established as safe, you also have to consider that a safe food additive is not necessarily a beneficial one.
In the next post, I’ll tell you about the negative effects of sucralose and why you should avoid it to succeed in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the herbs, spices and sweeteners on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the negative effects of aspartame, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the negative effects of aspartame.