One of the biggest hoaxes the public has bought into in the past several years is the artificial sweetener, aspartame. Aspartame is sold under several trade names, including Nutrasweet, Equal, Spenda, and others. All of these are very effective sweeteners and help to eliminate sugar from your diet. Aspartame has no nutritional value, is quite inexpensive, and is often used as a weight control product.
If the story stopped here, aspartame would be a real boon to society. We would have a better handle on the obesity problem. But, unfortunately, the story does not stop here. Aspartame is a dangerous chemical that has no real upside while having very many real downsides. Let's look at some of them.
Aspartame is a chemical that apparently crosses the blood-brain barrier and affects the thinking mechanisms. The symptoms of too much aspartame in the system are very close in effect to those of Alzheimer's. The memory, both short and long term, becomes much less effective. Heavy users of aspartame may begin to forget simple things and lose their ability to discriminate between simple memory functions and things that are long standing habits.
If you are a long-term user of aspartame, or one of those more sensitive to it, people who know you well may be able to sense a difference in your thinking and emotional behavior. But the differences will be subtle and slow in developing, so detection may be difficult. Even your best friends may not notice the changes for a while.
So, what is the solution to this problem? The obvious solution is to understand the consequences of aspartame consumption and to begin reducing or eliminating aspartame from your diet.
Awareness is a key factor in reducing aspartame consumption. Aspartame is generally found in just about any food or beverage advertised using words like "diet", "no sugar", "low calorie", "non-fattening" and "sugar free". Other phrases are also used that are easily recognizable.
It will pay you great dividends in terms of health and happiness to learn about the trade names for aspartame, and then to avoid them when shopping for groceries. Once you know and understand the terminology for aspartame, the rest is easy. You can quickly become adept at identifying the unwanted foods just by scanning the ingredient declaration on food labels.
With a little knowledge and some practice, you will soon become skilled at being able to choose tasty, healthy and nutritious foods when you shop!
(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)