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Aspartame - The Hidden Hazards

One of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners could be more dangerous than you think.

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We live in an era where obesity is a real problem. In trying to reduce the amount of consumed calories, many food and drink manufacturers reach for artificial sweeteners. At first glance it does make sense, artificial sweeteners are very sweet, provide almost no calories and are readily available nearly anywhere. Is there a valid reason why you shouldn't be reaching for your favourite diet soda? Well yes there is and this is what this article will be looking at today!

Aspartame is one of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners. It is made up of aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol. The first two are amino acids that are broken down by the body fairly easy. Despite this however, in excessive amounts they can lead to many side effects such as depression, headaches and migraines. As for methanol it is found in fruits, but the difference is that it is bound to a fibre called pectin, which makes the digestion easy and unproblematic. This is not the case with the methanol in aspartame as it is not bound to anything that can help eliminate it from the body. As a result, a fair amount tends to stay in the body, causing intoxication.

Aspartame is associated with many side effects, the more significant of which are brain cancer, diabetes, emotional disorders and epilepsy to name a few. Now you are probably asking yourself, if it can cause such severe damages to the body, how is it allowed on the market? Well, that has more to do with political games and money, rather than health concerns.

Although the above mentioned side effects are quite serious and cannot be justified by any results, some people still reach for artificially sweetened products in the hope to combat obesity. Unfortunately, be ready for another disappointment as aspartame-sweetened products can actually lead to increased appetite and sweet cravings. In other words, those products stimulate the very same responses you are seeking to avoid by consuming them. So it turns out that artificially sweetened products don’t actually help you in avoiding that chocolate bar you have been craving. The additional fat storage is also caused by worsened insulin sensitivity. Every time you eat carbohydrates you raise your insulin levels, which is important for digesting sugars.

In a recent study (Appetite January 1, 2012, Volume 60, Pages 203-207) three groups of mice were fed yoghurt sweetened with aspartame, saccharin or sugar plus their regular food for 12 weeks. The researchers established that:

"Results showed that addition of either saccharin or aspartame to yogurt resulted in increased weight gain compared to addition of sucrose, however total caloric intake was similar among groups,"

So in essence, the study shows that aspartame can cause greater weight gain than a diet with the same calorie intake, but no aspartame. Thus it is not just about the calories, but also the substances you are consuming.

Further, recent studies also suggest that there might be a link between cardiovascular diseased with women and artificial sweeteners. Of course, there are tons of research papers done on the side effects of aspartame, which will not be examined here, however LA Muscle have done the homework and contrary to many companies out there all of LA Muscle products are free from artificial sweeteners. Even big companies like Pepsi Cola are removing aspartame from their products in the stores. LA Muscle takes their customers’ health very seriously and this is why only natural sweeteners have been used.

All of LA Muscle's protein powders taste incredibly good, mix well and have absolutely no hazardous effects like other products. LA Muscle constantly gets great reviews on how amazing LA Whey Gold tastes, so there is no doubt that the customers can appreciate the quality of the products. As for Diet Whey, LA Muscle have even included real fruit pieces inside the Strawberry and Raspberry flavour, so it tastes as good as a real fruit smoothie! Also, make sure you check out the Blog section for protein-inspired recipes that are easy to make, rich in important nutrients and taste delicious!

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