First off, I am not really a BIG FAN of artificial sweeteners. But what I didn’t know which I just realized right now, is that artificial sweeteners are everywhere now especially in the foods that we are eating NOW. This post is a bittersweet truth about the artificial sweetener, aspartame, which AKA AminoSweet, NutraSweet, Equal, Natrataste Blue — so please do not be deceived and continue reading this IMPORTANT post.
A Little Bit History
Prior to 2010, there have been issues revolving around Aspartame. Aspartame was first introduced in Europe and accidentally discovered by James Schlatter, a chemist who is trying to produce an anti-ulcer drug back in 1965. He mixed aspartic acid and phenylalanine and discovered a new compound that produces a sweet taste. The company changed its FDA approval application from drug to food additive and there it was that aspartame was born.
Despite the numerous objections from FDA, the company, G.D. Searle & Company who patented aspartame was able to convince FDA to approve aspartame in commercial use in few products in 1974 which ignited a blaze of controversy.
To make the story short, I will quote Ethan Huffs post from Natural News in 2010:
Despite the myriad of evidence gained over the years showing that aspartame is a dangerous toxin, it has remained on the global market with the exception of a few countries that have banned it. In fact, it continued to gain approval for use in new types of food despite evidence showing that it causes neurological brain damage, cancerous tumors, and endocrine disruption, among other things.
The details of aspartame’s history are lengthy, but the point remains that the carcinogen was illegitimately approved as a food additive through heavy-handed prodding by a powerful corporation with its own interests in mind. Practically all drugs and food additives are approved by the FDA not because science shows they are safe but because companies essentially lobby the FDA with monetary payoffs and complete the agency’s multi-million dollar approval process.
Changing aspartame’s name to something that is “appealing and memorable”, in Ajinomoto’s own words, may hoodwink some but hopefully most will reject this clever marketing tactic as nothing more than a desperate attempt to preserve the company’s multi-billion dollar cash cow. Do not be deceived.
Now, the question is, how do I know if there is aspartame in my food?
The easiest way to do this is to check the labels before buying or eating foods or drinks. If aspartame is in the product it will be listed in the ingredients. The product label will also contain the warning “Phenylketonurics: contains phenylalanine.”
And there is more, check out the products below that MAY CONTAIN ASPARTAME:
- Sugar-free ice cream
- Iced tea
- Jams and jellies
- Ice cream toppings
- Fruit spreads
- Sugar-free ketchup
- Sugar-free cookies
- Nutritional bars
- Non-carbonated diet soft drinks
- No sugar added pies
- Flavored water products
- Chewing gum
- Diet soda
- Hard candies
- Instant cocoa mix
- Flavored syrups
- Breath mints
- Carbonated soft drinks
- Meal replacements
- Powdered soft drinks
- Protein drinks
- Tabletop sweeteners
- Vegetable drinks
- Drinkable yogurt
- Fat-free yogurt
- Sugar-free chocolate syrup
- Sugar-free yogurt
Again, the key is to check the label.
Do you drink SODA? Then check this out!
Which diet drinks contain aspartame?
Their aspartame content, in order from least to most per 8-ounce bottle: Sprite Zero(50 mg), Coke Zero (58 mg), Pepsi Max (77 mg), Diet Pepsi and Caffeine-Free Diet Pepsi (111 mg and 118 mg, respectively), Diet Dr. Pepper (123 mg), Diet Coke and Caffeine-Free Coke (125 mg).
What CAN You DO?
DITCH THE PROCESSED FOODS, SWITCH TO HEALTHY NATURAL SWEETENERS.
Here are the Top 10 Natural Sweeteners and Sugar Alternatives:
Top 10 Natural Sweeteners
- Raw Honey (1 tablespoon – 64 calories)
- Stevia (0 calories)
- Dates (1 Medjool Date – 66 calories)
- Coconut Sugar (1 tablespoon – 45 calories)
- Maple Syrup (1 tablespoon – 52 calories)
- Blackstrap Molasses (1 tablespoon – 47 calories)
- Balsamic Glaze (1 tablespoon – 20-40 calories depending on thickness)
- Banana Puree (1 cup – 200 calories)
- Brown Rice Syrup (1 tablespoon – 55 calories)
- Real Fruit Jam (varies depending on the fruit)
Opt for homemade meals and always, always read the label.
I know right! I keep on repeating this! A good rule of thumb is to ditch any food products that contain more than five ingredients.
Choose healthy sweeteners, such as dried fruit, fruit, stevia leaf, raw honey. The only side effects these natural choices cause are health, wellness and satisfaction.
Now that you have this information, you don’t have to be a part of the aspartame charade any longer. You have the facts. You know about the alternatives. Please don’t put yourself at risk any longer, or ever again. So go ahead; make the rest of your life the best of your life!
Eating foods in their natural state will always be healthier than something made in a lab. Just saying!
Stay informed and may we always be healthy,