If you have read about the artificial sweetener Aspartame (otherwise known as Nutrasweet, Equal, Spoonful and Aminosweet) causing migraines and possibly even brain tumors, Alzheimers, systemic lupus, multiple sclerosis and seizures, chances are you were a little sceptical about the claims. In fact, if you were given to reverse conspiracy theories, you could speculate about the sugar cartels being behind the anti-aspartame campaigns on the internet.
Here are a few links with credible evidence to support the idea that it is reasonably safe to consume moderate amounts of aspartame:
- Letter in July 1999 Lancet from the Department of Endocrinology at Sydney , Australias Westmead Hospital
- American Council on Science and Health Debunks Aspartame Hoax
- “Aspartame: a safety evaluation based on current use levels, regulations, and toxicological and epidemiological studies“. Critical Reviews in Toxicology 37 (8): 629–727
- Food Additive Approval Process Followed for Aspartame United States General Accounting Office, GAO/HRD-87-46, June 18, 1987
Ok, maybe you want to play it safe anyway, thank you very much. Maybe you think you might have a food allergy to aspartame or just want to be sure it is not a migraine trigger for you. I would suggest you try using Stevia for a while in place of aspartame and see if that makes any difference. You may find that foods taste a little better too, who knows.The main thing to know about Stevia is it has no effect on blood sugar level, being zero on the glycemic index. In terms of diabetes, studies have shownstevia to have a re-vitalizing effect on β-cells of pancreas, improve insulin sensitivity in rats, and possibly even to promote additional insulin production. Stevia consumed before meals significantly reduced post-meal insulin levels compared to both aspartame and sucrose. It tastes good, too.You can add it to your tea, coffee, milk, plain yogurt, seltzer water and protein shakes, for starters. Did I mention it does wonders for baking sugar-free desserts?
Sweet Leaf Liquid Stevia, Vanilla Creme Flavored is one of my favorites. Add a drop or two to a glass of cold sparkling water to get your own instant sugar-free cream soda. The liquid form is portable and mixes easily for sweetening on the go.
You can get it at just about any health food store and lots of supermarkets that have a natural foods section. But Amazon has one of the lowest prices I’ve seen for it, so you can’t go wrong there either. Click here to check out their current price.
Stevia plant photo by Gabriela Ruellan