Why Researchers Think Aspartame Is Making You Fat: Here Are 3 Safer Sweetener Alternatives to Sugar
If you've switched to aspartame-sweetened products to help lower your calories so you can lose weight, breaking new research might have found that they might actually have the opposite effect on your weight loss.
Aspartame is most popular among diet soda products. It tastes sweet, almost like sugar, but only has 4 calories per packet. But researchers found that taking aspartame tricks your body into thinking it's ingesting sugar, which makes it expect to receive a certain number of calories. When the expectation is wrong and your body can't expend the same amount of energy because of the calorie restriction, it triggers a response that makes you crave to take in the missing calories. Also, they found that low-calorie artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, don't fully activate your brain's food reward pathways the way real sugar does. That means that your brain isn't being satisfied because it knows you're not really taking in calories.
Now scientists have found another way that aspartame may actually cause you to gain weight instead of lose it. They found that when aspartame is in your digestive tract, it blocks an important enzyme called IAP (intestinal alkaline phosphate), which has been found to help prevent diabetes and obesity. IAP plays an important role in regulating your gut bacteria – and irregular gut bacteria can lead to weight gain.
These are reasons enough for you to stay away from aspartame-containing food products if you're trying to lose weight. If you want to sweeten your foods and drinks without increasing your calorie intake, Healthyme123 advises you to consider the following:
Stevia. Unlike aspartame, stevia is a natural sweetener produced by the Stevia rebaudiana plant, which grows natively in Brazil and Paraguay.
Researchers studied the effects of three groups of participants who used either stevia, aspartame, or normal sugar. They found that participants who used stevia had lower insulin and blood sugar levels than participants who used aspartame or normal sugar.
Manuka honey. Although manuka honey actually has more calories than sugar, it's far healthier. It's been found to lower your inflammation and rejuvenate your skin.It also fights cancer, unlike cancer-causing sugar. Because of manuka honey's thick texture and rich nutrients, it may make you feel more full than regular sugar – which means you'll eat less with manuka honey than with sugar.
Thaumatin. Thaumatin is a protein made by the katemfe fruit; native to west Africa. It's 2000 times sweeter than normal sugar. It only has 4 calories per gram and has been found not to cause cancer and is safe to consume. But you can't use it in baking or boiling.
Stop taking weight-gaining aspartame products. Try these natural, safer sweetener alternatives instead.
Updated January 2, 2017