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Aspartame: Is Cutting Calories Worth It?

Fitday Editor
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Adding aspartame to your diet in place of sugar can be a great way to cut calories. Aspartame is a low-calorie substitute for sugar that delivers sweetness to foods and drinks, without delivering all of the calories of sugar. It's become very popular as a non-nutritive sweetener, used in everything from baked goods to diet sodas. However, there has been a lot of controversy that's swirled around aspartame, too. Many doctors have concluded that aspartame may not be good for your health. In addition, some aspartame users have reported a variety of side effects that may be harmful to your health. In order to decide if aspartame is worth the risk for you, you need to weigh the positives and the negatives for yourself.

The Positives of Aspartame

If you like your foods and drinks to taste sweet, there's a good chance you'll like the effect aspartame has on everything that you eat. Aspartame is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. It's also known to taste almost the same as sugar, meaning that you won't change up the taste of the foods and drinks that you know and love. Outside of the taste, aspartame also does some things remarkably well compared to sugar. For instance, while eating too much sugar promotes tooth decay and can lead to cavities and worse, aspartame does not promote tooth decay. Studies have shown that people with diabetes can use aspartame without negatively affecting their blood sugar. Because aspartame is so sweet, you don't have to use much to get the taste that you love, and you won't drive your blood sugar up. Finally, when used properly, aspartame can help promote weight loss and help you stick to a diet.

The Negatives of Aspartame

Since aspartame was introduced to the world in the 1960s and 1970s, there have been a variety of complaints filed with the FDA about the side effects. People have complained about getting headaches, dizziness, memory loss, abdominal pain, changes in vision and even seizures. Studies have also shown a link to migraine headaches, palpitations of the heart and even blindness. Obviously, none of these side effects are pleasant and you should take them into consideration as you decide whether or not to use aspartame.

Making a Decision About Aspartame

Using aspartame can have some positive and negative effects on your body. Recently, the FDA declared that aspartame, when used in moderation, can provide benefits to your body without all of the side effects. That's one of the keys to using aspartame. Don't overuse it or use it all the time. Rather, use it sparingly as a substitute for sugar. If you notice any negative side effects, stop using it immediately. Decide if cutting calories with aspartame is worth the risk you take by using it.

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