I think most of us know that Sugar Free, Low Fat eating is proving to be very unhealthy. We are now aware of the hazards of consuming artificial sweeteners and preservatives. There are so many reports linking these additives to disease and chronic conditions. It can be mind-boggling to comprehend all of this information.
Below, I’ve highlighted some very important facts about the artificial sweetener, Aspartame. I also included a list of products that include aspartame, as well as some healthy alternatives. I hope this will be helpful to you when you are grocery shopping or meal planning.
Facts about Aspartame
• Even though aspartame producers state that aspartame is safe for human consumption, various studies over the years have shown that aspartame is actually linked to headaches, migraines, seizures, dizziness, tumors and even cancer (specifically brain cancer, breast cancer, leukemia, lymphomas). The U.S. FDA revealed 92 symptoms attributed to aspartame. Despite these findings, aspartame was approved for use in 1981 and still continues to be approved today. But get this; aspartame was never tested in humans before its approval.
• As rates of learning disabilities, autism and related neurological disorders like lupus and MS hit the roof in the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency is getting ready to release a list of the pollutants likely to contribute to these or other neurological disorders. Aspartame has been included on this list.
• It’s a myth that sugar free eating is healthy. It is recommended that we eat lower amounts of sugar, not sugar-free. Eating diet foods is the best way to GAIN WEIGHT. Aspartame actually increases the risk of weight gain. Since it is 200 times sweeter than sugar, aspartame looks like the perfect answer to dieting since it contains only a few calories while still having the sweet taste of sugar. Unfortunately, phenylalanine and aspartic acid, major elements of aspartame, trigger the release of insulin and leptons. Furthermore, large doses of phenylalanine lower serotonin levels and lead to food cravings and depression.
• Aspartame is also highly addictive. The phenylalanine and methanol components increase the dopamine levels in the brain and cause a certain high. This further creates an addiction that is only made worse by the release of methyl alcohol or methanol, which is considered a narcotic.
• Aspartame is found in more than 6,000 products and is consumed by over 200 million people worldwide. It is mainly found in soft drinks, which account for more than 70 percent of aspartame-containing products. Also, a majority of processed foods contain aspartame.
Aspartame-Containing Foods and Beverages
• Breath Mints
• Carbonated Soft Drinks
• Chewing Gum – Try Glee Gum, www.gleegum.com.
• Dessert Mixes
• Flavored Syrups for Coffee
• Flavored Water Products – Try Shaklee Pure Performance products. They are great tasting electrolyte drinks that help keep you hydrated without filling you full of artificial sweeteners.
• Frozen Ice
• Frozen Ice Cream Novelties
• Fruit Spreads
• Gelatin, Sugar Free
• Hard Candies
• Ice cream Toppings
• Ice Creams, Sugar Free
• Iced Tea, Powder – Try Shaklee 180 Energizing Teas for a natural energy lift. They are made from an exclusive blend of white, green and red teas, to help boost your energy safely and naturally. I love to drink them in warm water, but they are still good in cool water.
• Iced Tea, Ready to Drink
• Instant Cocoa Mix
• Jams & Jellies
• Juice Blends
• Juice Drinks
• Maple Syrups (Look for organic brands)
• Meal Replacements – Try Shaklee 180 Smoothies or Shaklee 180 Meal Bars – they contain NO Aspartame and NO Preservatives!!!)
• No Sugar Added Pies
• Non-Carbonated Diet Soft drinks
• **Nutritional Bars – Again, try Shaklee 180 Meal Bars.
**I have been a nutritional bar connoisseur for years. With my busy lifestyle, they are always an easy go-to meal. However, until I started researching additives and preservatives that were causing my migraines, I never knew how much artificial sweeteners and preservatives were in these bars. That’s when I learned about Shaklee products).
• Powdered Soft Drinks – Again, try Shaklee Pure Performance products.
• Protein Nutritional Drinks – Try Shaklee 180 Smoothies for a safe, high protein, high fiber, lower fat, all natural protein drink alternative. Shaklee 180 contains Leucine, an amino acid that helps to build lean muscle while you lose fat/weight, and allows you to keep weight off).
• Puddings and Fillings
• Sauces – Try Sauce World at www.sauceworld.com. Some of these products can be found in stores. Better yet, make your own sauces so you know what is in them!
• Soft Candy Chews
• Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup
• Sugar Free Cookies
• Sugar Free Ketchup
• Table Top Sweeteners – NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, Equal Measure, AminoSweet, Benevia, NutraTaste, Canderel. Splenda is also very bad for you because it contains sucralose, another artificial sweetener. More on sucralose in another article to follow.
• Toothpaste – YES, toothpaste. Try Toms of Maine – No Aspartame
• Vegetable Drinks
• Yogurt (Drinkable, Fat Free, Sugar Free) – Try Full Fat Greek Yogurt and add fresh fruit or honey.
• Some medications (such as vitamins and sugar-free oral solutions) – Try Shaklee Vitalizer vitamins or Incredivites vitamins for children. No aspartame or preservatives. My family loves them!
Check to see if the food products or beverages that you consume contain aspartame. Read the food label of each product you take. Manufacturers are required to list all ingredients contained in every food product.
Healthier Alternative to Aspartame
When you want a taste of something sweet, there is a healthier alternative called Stevia that you can use in moderation. Stevia is 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 has been around for over 1500 years and is 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 love that Shaklee products use Stevia instead of unsafe artificial sweeteners. That’s something I can feel great about.
Another great source of information on aspartame and other scary ingredients in our foods is in this short video from Charlotte Today news. Special guest Brooke Thomas, nutritionist and founder of 360yourlife, talks about which products include these scary ingredients. I am very happy to work with Brooke through Shaklee. Enjoy this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4g6koXssQ9Y.
Sources for this article: