What is Aspartame?
Aspartame is the most consumed artificial sweetener in the United States, according to mercola.com. Are you consuming it? Almost definitely; if you’ve ever had chewing gum, diet soda, cough drops, or anything labeled “sugar-free,” it’s safe to say that you’re consuming this very unsafe chemical.
What makes aspartame so dangerous?
Aspartame is an exitotoxin–it’s exactly what it sounds like. Excitotoxins are a class of chemicals that over-excite neuron receptors. Come on y’all, we do not play around with our neuron receptors. They allow our brain cells to communicate with each other, for crying out loud! But eat some food with aspartame, they get revved up and cause your receptors to fire impulses so quickly that they exhaust themselves. Chill neurons, we’re sorry. 20somes, ditch the Diet Coke and instead, choose water.
Mercola also states that aspartame has been shown to account for roughly 75 percent of adverse reactions to food additives reported to the Food and Drug Administration. Side effects range from migraines and seizures to depression and death. It has also been linked to increased risks of brain tumors, Leukemia, Multiple Sclerosis, and cancer.
If you squint carefully at your pack of gum, you may notice a warning that says: Phenylketonurics – contains phenylalanine! A part of aspartame’s structure (an amino acid that it breaks down into) will cause phenylketonurics (people who have mind numbing sensitivities to phenylalanine) to feel a lot of pain when they taste that minty flavor in gum–so abandon that spearmint flavor! If you are a phenylketonuric, chances are you already know so you’re highly unlikely to notice any immediate effects of taking aspartame into your system regularly.
How could our government allow such a dangerous chemical to be so pervasive in our foods?
Wait, you still trust the government? Well, according to mercola.com, despite the more than 900 published studies that prove the dangers of aspartame, the FDA still allows it to be used because it is cheap, readily available, and the detrimental effects do not occur immediately. The food industry, which uses aspartame, is one of the most lucrative industries. The people don’t pay the government big money–big industries do.
How can you avoid aspartame?
Finally, the good news; it’s pretty easy. Read ingredient labels and avoid processed foods. As mentioned earlier diet sodas, “sugar-free”and “fat-free” foods, and chewing gums are the most prevalent aspartame containing products. Skip the Sweet ‘n Low, Splenda, and Equal in your morning coffee, those are all straight up chemically delicious aspartame. Don’t do it. You should be drinking water (or a glass of wine) instead of diet sodas, but if you must, go with the regular Coke please. “Sugar-free” and “fat-free” foods don’t work, we’ll discuss this further some other time. Trust me for now, they don’t work. If you absolutely need your chewing gum or breath mints, reach for a brand that is sweetened with Xylitol instead; despite its Star Trekkie name it’s actually safe and natural.
Your body, especially your brain, deserves so much better than some wannabe sweetener that tastes like the bottom of a mop bucket anyway.