Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Dangers of Aspartame

So my mom has worked really hard over the last couple of years to become a CMTA and FDN. 
She honestly is the most knowledgeable person I know when it comes to health.  Like truly, you think you know someone who knows a lot?  She'll know more.  I promise.  Just a few months ago she started taking clients.  Not only does she help them lose weight, but she does a whole series of metabolic tests to help them know the types of foods that work for them that really sets them up on a lifetime path to look and feel good for life.  She also knows lots about bioidenticals and the benefits they can have for certain people (cough, menopause). 

She wrote this article for a forum the other day that I felt was particularly insightful considering so many drinks these days have aspartame in it.  We hear it's bad (although no on really seems to care) but we don't really know why it's bad.  Here it is, explaining why it's so bad for your health and your weight.  

"If you are drinking diet soda sweetened with aspartame on a regular basis, then be aware that it is most likely sabotaging your weight loss efforts. Aspartame not only stimulates appetite, but also increases carbohydrate cravings leading to fat storage and weight gain. Studies have shown that rats fed aspartame-flavored yogurt compared to yogurt flavored with sucrose experienced an increase in weight, even though, the caloric intake was the same. Appetite control mechanisms are negatively affected when the body experiences a sweet taste without the accompanying calories resulting in increased food cravings and hunger. It is ironic that the very beverage, diet soda, that is believed to aid in weight reduction, and at the very least, weight stabilization, readily contributes to it.  Natural sweeteners, on the other hand, properly activate food reward pathways, allowing proper satiety signaling.
If this weren't enough, aspartame ingestion, via the amino acids phenylalanine and aspartic acid, stimulates the release of two hormones that are involved in fat storage, satiety, and metabolism regulation - insulin and leptin. Insulin regulates glucose metabolism, and leptin sends signals to the body that it is time to stop eating and burn fat. Over time, the body can become resistant to these two hormones causing insulin and leptin resistance, both of which result in obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and other chronic diseases. Interestingly, phenylalanine can also lower serotonin, an important neurotransmitter involved in satiety. Aspartame is also implicated in migraine headaches, insomnia, irritability, rashes, heart palpitations, and even seizures. It is an excitotoxin that can lead to the death of neural cells. Also, sufficient glucose entry into the brain is blocked, causing fatigue!

Be cautious regarding sports drink labels. If the label reads "low sugar" or "low carb," be suspicious. The sugar may have been reduced, but, more than likely, an artificial sweetener, such as aspartame, or its amino acid components, has replaced it. These excitotoxins are hidden under the labels "artificial" or "natural" flavorings. This, alone, is one reason to forego sports drinks as it is not easily determined if an artificial sweetener has been added. Choosing a sugar-sweetened beverage, though not ideal, is still a better choice than opting for an artificially sweetened drink. Although sugar may impede your weight loss efforts, your brain cells will at least be intact!

Trying to trick your body with artificial sweeteners, specifically aspartame, will not only impede your weight loss, but will actually further sabotage any future efforts. Eliminating aspartame, along with implementing other necessary dietary changes, will not only result in better health, but in more effective weight loss!"

Are you convinced to stop drinking diet and sport drinks?  

I'm going to be posting a lot more articles that she writes because I think they will be insightful for a lot of my readers.  If you or anyone you know would like my mom's information, please email me!