TO DRINK OR NOT TO DRINK?
In the ideal world, we would eat everything organic, like it was less than 100 years ago. However, in this les than ideal world, at least from a nutritional view point, we find food processors, manufacturers and purveyors determined to impress their investors with great “bottom line” profits through whatever means our free enterprise system allows. Unfortunately, nutritional consideration are not first in the priority lists of most Fortune 500 companies involved in the manufacture, distribution, distribution and sale of food products.
There are over 6,000 web pages, according to Aspartame Truth Information web site, devoted to discussing, revealing, berating and defending this non-nutritive item which has infiltrated a huge segment of the food market.
The desire to reduce the calorie content of our meals, in order to manage weight and the wish by those on sugar restricted diets (primarily Diabetics) to enjoy the taste of sweet, are the two driving forces in the market.
Here, a phrase “non-nutritive” is used because artificial sweeteners provide no nutrition to our diets nor is the taste of sweet a fundamental necessity for optimal health. All tastes are acquired and for those with a “sweet tooth” will find that if they increase the protein consumption in their diets, the “sweet tooth” will become much less powerful.
Aspartame is the artificial combining of two naturally occurring amino acids-phenylalanine and Aspartic acid. Questioning the efficacy and safety of this product is the subject of the majority of the 6,000 web sites.
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 fats mobilisation, 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.