Aspartame: A Low-calorie Sugar Substitute
What is Aspartame?
Aspartame is a low-calorie sugar substitute, made up of two amino acids: aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Aspartame is 220 times sweeter than cane sugar and leaves no aftertaste (the feeling of sweetness remaining some time after tasting). It is also known under the trade names Equal and Nutrasweet.
In what products is Aspartame included?
Aspartame is found in thousands of foods and drinks, as well as in tablet or capsule form. These include foods and drinks containing aspartame such as yogurt, frozen desserts, puddings, chewing gum and soft drinks. Aspartame is also included in many medications such as cough medicines and vitamins.
Aspartame helps increase the sweetness of some fruity flavors like orange or cherry. Specifically, it prolongs the sweetness of the food containing these aromas
However, it should be noted that you should not use aspartame to replace sugar in baked goods because aspartame will lose its sweetness during baking.
Who should avoid aspartame?
People with inherited diseases that cannot metabolize phenylalanine (phenylketonuria, PKU) should not eat aspartame because one of the two amino acids that make up aspartame is phenylalanine.
Benefits of Aspartame
Does not cause tooth decay.
Do not leave aftertaste.
Increases the sweetness and prolongs the sweetness of some flavors.
Is Aspartame safe?
Aspartame is one of the most researched sugar substitutes in the US. To date, more than 200 studies have investigated the safety of aspartame
However, studies conclude that aspartame does not cause headaches, seizures, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, scarlet lupus or multiple sclerosis. In fact, there has been no known case of aspartame affecting consumer health.
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