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Old 05-11-2010, 11:54 AM   #89
getting back on track
deinekatze's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: GA
Posts: 743

S/C/G: 187/172/150

Height: 5'9"


Originally Posted by penguin0199 View Post
Elizabeth since you seem to be the resident "coach" maybe you can answer my question about aspartame. I know we aren't supposed to have it but why? I asked my coach and he couldn't give me a straight answer. Also is it really bad if we have a little because I accidently ordered a shake from Lindora that has aspartame and you can't return them and I don't want to waste it.
Well I'm not an expert but found this online so I will share it. My coach never said anything to me as of why not so...

This was written by a registered dietitian and it is part of an article that appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts

"Dr. Walton, who has also studied the effects of aspartame, is emphatic when he tells me, "Probably one major contributor to obesity is the widespread use of diet products!" A chorus of non-conventional health professionals echoes his statement, which can just as well be read as a warning. The reasons are not simple; they involve complex biochemical reactions linked to hormones and brain chemicals.

Aspartame itself doesn’t have any calories, but basically, one of its ingredients, the amino acid phenylalanine, blocks production of serotonin, a nerve chemical that, among other activities, controls food cravings. As you might well imagine, a shortage of serotonin will make your brain and body scream for the foods that create more of this brain chemical—and those are the high-calorie, carbohydrate-rich snacks that can sabotage a dieter. Obviously, the more aspartame one ingests, the more heightened the effects. Simply put, aspartame appears to muddle the brain chemistry.

Nutritionist Susan Allen, RD, CCN, at Chicago’s Northwestern Center for Integrative Medicine, suspects that something additional is going on in many of her patients who have been using aspartame and other artificial sweeteners. Allen believes that when they consume them, the sweet taste of no-calorie sweeteners triggers their bodies to release insulin, even though there is no food to feed the cells. Normally, when we eat, the sugar in that food, which is derived from carbohydrates, is broken down into simple sugars, like glucose, which then enter the blood stream (we call it "blood sugar").

We depend on insulin (secreted by the pancreas) to usher that blood sugar into our cells to supply energy and maintain normal blood sugar levels. The problem Allen sees is that an "insulin-sensitive" person who uses artificial sweeteners teases his or her body into thinking food is on its way, so insulin is released. But when the body discovers it was cheated out of food, it revolts by throwing a food-craving tantrum that can only be quelled by eating blood sugar food that will more than likely be high-calorie sugary snacks. "I point out to them how it doesn’t make sense. . . they’re trying to save themselves sugar but then they eat more foods that are going to raise their blood sugar anyway."

Yet, the unabashed public acceptance of artificial sweeteners, namely aspartame, is fueled by the approval of a host of scientific and professional organizations, including the American Dietetic Association, American Heart Association, American Medical Association and the National Cancer Institute. Is it any wonder that some 200 million Americans use this ubiquitous product?"

I also saw this on another report

"One of the reasons for using aspartame is the quest to reduce calories and therefore lose or maintain body weight. However, there is some evidence, disputed by the manufacturers of course, that the sweet sensation provided by artificial sweeteners, including aspartame, can through a "neural/humoral" connection cause the pancreas to secrete insulin regardless of the blood sugar levels. Insulin is the storage hormone and inhibits fat mobilization, thus defeating the original goal to lose fat. With elevated insulin which does not combine with blood sugars, you get an increase in appetite and a craving for carbohydrates. This has been reported by several researchers and of course denied by the research of the manufacturing companies."

Read more: Aspartame, NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful
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