Aspartame Pros and Cons for Diabetics
Are you a heavy soda drinker? Oh, I know, not when you found out you had diabetes, right? You started drinking the diet pop? Well, good for you. Because I want to talk to you a bit about those aspartame pros and cons for diabetics!
There are so many different opinions on the news, in newspapers, magazines, and the most popular place to go to find information today, on the internet; about aspartame and all of the other sugar substitutes.
If you, like me, were diagnosed diabetic and you were a heavy soda drinker, I’m thinking that you probably took the same road as I did. The first thought was, “well okay if I can’t have soda with sugar in it anymore, I can drink diet soda”.
There are a couple soda brands today that are sweetened with stevia. Stevia is a sugar substitute that they extract from a plant species called “Stevia Rebaudiana”. Now I am not going to get into chemistry here. I just know that I have heard and read in some places that Stevia is the best form of sweetener to use, in place of sugar.
The aspartame pros and cons are either long and abundant on sites that have no real knowledge about the chemical, or they are short and sweet and actually quite honest.
Dr. Mercola says “if you’re trying to lose weight, (and if diabetic, probably most of us are trying to do just that) avoid artificial sweeteners”.
He added “When a sweets craving strikes, resist the urge to reach for an artificially sweetened food or beverage and eat something naturally sour instead. Sour taste, such as that from fermented vegetables or water spruced up with lemon or lime juice, helps to reduce cravings for sweets.”
Now, in a perfect world and I’m working towards that, I would reach for my fermented carrots or lemon water. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t be addicted to sugar.
In the next paragraph Dr. Mercola says something about organic black coffee and an opioid receptor, which is interesting to me since I have also had a dependence to opioids. It would be interesting to see just how many diabetics have the same history.
Dr. Mercola added “If that doesn’t appeal to you, try a cup of organic black coffee, an opioid receptor that can bind to your opioid receptors, occupy them and essentially block your addiction to other opioid-releasing foods.”
Interestingly, Dr. Mercola dictates that we should also stay away from sugar substitutes and he doesn’t even identify with stevia. If you wish to read his thoughts? Go here:
However, aspartame pros and cons are quite different on sites such as those from The Joslin Diabetes Center.
Answering a question sent to Joslin Diabetes Center from a blog reader about what they had seen on the internet; JDC says that there are no dangers on the aspartame pros and cons list that the blogger author in question had any knowledge of. Apparently she had not done any homework on the subject but wrote only what her thoughts entailed, none of which were fact.
In an article entitled Correcting Internet Myths About Aspartame you can read the whole article written by the professionals at Joslin Diabetes Center. Read about their findings on aspartame pros and cons, you can see that there really are not many cons.
Aspartame has been studied extensively, since 1965, with approximately 200 studies conducted in humans and animals. The safety of aspartame has been well established. The results of these scientific studies have shown that eating products sweetened with aspartame is no different from eating other foods and is not associated with adverse health effects.
They go further to say that the same chemicals can be found in milk, meat, and any other food that we eat. “
An 8-oz glass of milk has six times more phenylalanine and thirteen times more aspartic acid than an equivalent amount of soda sweetened with NutraSweet.
An 8-oz glass of fruit juice or tomato juice contains three to five times more methanol than an equivalent amount of soda sweetened with NutraSweet.
Mind you, this information comes to us from a place that does nothing but research for diabetes. How many times do we have to get jerked around on this subject?
Reading what the Diabetes Association has to say about low-calorie sweeteners and sweets containing sugar; “When you have diabetes, including sweets in your diet requires careful planning. However, it can be hard to just save sweets for special occasions.”
The American Diabetes Association says “Curb Your Cravings”
“Foods and drinks that use artificial sweeteners are another option that may help curb your cravings for something sweet.”
“Sometimes low-calorie sweeteners are also called artificial sweeteners, sugar substitutes or non-nutritive sweeteners. They can be used to sweeten food and drinks for less calories and carbohydrate when they replace sugar. ”
“Also, with the exception of aspartame, all of the sweeteners listed below cannot be broken down by the body. They pass through our systems without being digested so they provide no extra calories.”
Aspartame, therefore does have something unique about it that gives reason to be listed within the cons on the aspartame pros and cons list because according to their statement above, aspartame does not travel through our digestive system without leaving extra calories for us to absorb.
On the other hand, how many times have we been lied to about such dietary issues? Keep in mind the old “food pyramid”.
There are many other sites that basically advocate for the use of aspartame, even if diabetic.
From the blog of a co-blogger I have copied the following:
The FDA sets safe levels of all sweeteners, called the Acceptable Daily Intake, or ADI. The ADI for aspartame is 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. For example, a 150-pound adult could safely consume up to 3,500 milligrams of aspartame each day. A 12-ounce can of Diet Coke contains 185 milligrams of aspartame; given that, a 150-pound adult would need to drink about 19 cans each day to reach the ADI level.
Just understand one thing! We, as those who might be struggling with our diabetes and getting our numbers under control have at least stopped drinking soda full of sugar (at least I hope).
If for anytime at all, to drown our addictions of soda full of sugar, we begin drinking sugar-free soda that is sweetened with aspartame, it is just one more step in the right direction to cut our A1c numbers. So don’t feel too guilty or come down on yourself for doing one more thing that you think is bad for you.
It is ultimately your decision; everything that you do to improve your life today is. This is one reason why I am here. I struggle every single day with this sugar addiction. And I am here for anyone who needs my kind of love because it is non-judgemental and all accepting.
If you have any questions, or just want to talk? Leave a message for us below. Thanks for coming by.