Wow!! May, already??? We are almost halfway through the year- how are you doing on your fitness and nutrition goals? The nutrition challenge for the month of May is to: eliminate all artificial sweeteners. I have written about aspartame, also known as Equal or Nutrasweet, in my blog before, but there is also suclarose, called Splenda, and saccharin. These are really the "big 3" of artificial sweeteners. They are all filled with cancer causing chemicals and should be avoided entirely!!!! I cannot express to you enough that these are dangerous chemicals for our bodies. Everyone wonders why the incidence of cancers are rising- this is part of the reason why. In this post I will detail the dangers of aspartame and then I will detail the dangers of the other two in subsequent posts.
Aspartame was approved by the FDA in 1981 for use in dry foods. It was originally approved in 1974, but, findings by a neuroscience researcher put the approval on hold. There is a list of 92 side effects from the use of Aspartame. Seventy-five percent of all adverse reactions from food additives reported to the FDA come from the use of Aspartame. These include: headaches/migraines, seizures, dizziness, nausea, weight gain, muscle spasms, depression, fatigue, irritability, rashes, insomnia, tachycardia, vision and hearing problems, anxiety, heart palpitations, breathing problems, loss of taste, vertigo, memory loss, joint pain, and symptoms of hypoglycemia. I know about this side effects all too well, because I experienced many of them. I used to be a diet soda junkie and have been quit now for almost 6 years. I started this research originally because I discovered I had Aspartame poisoning. I quit it cold turkey and within a week, my symptoms started to disappear.
Aspartame is L-apartyl, L-phenylalanine methyl ester. The three toxic ingredients of it are methanol, which is grain alcohol, phenylalaine and aspartic acid- the last two are amino acid isolates. Let me explain that: Proteins, needed for muscle development and repair, is made up of many amino acids grouped together. There are 22 amino acids necessary for normal human growth, with 14 of those that our body can make called non essential amino acids. Then, there are 8 other amino acids called essential amino acids that we must get from outside sources such as food. Amino acid isolates have been artificially separated from the protein chain and are now single or dipeptide molecules. Aspartic acid and phenylalanine are two types of genetically modified or manufactured amino acids. Because of this our body's metabolize them differently than amino acids that have not been broken apart or artificially made. You also need to know that the isolates of aspartame are incorporated into a compound containing free methanol, which is a carcinogen and mutagen that breaks down into formaldehyde inside our bodies! At certain high temperatures, those of which a can of soda experiences riding on a truck to your local grocery store, the aspartame breaks down into methanol and formaldehyde- so just picture yourself drinking a can of chemicals, because that's what is happening.
Regarding Aspartame in diet soda: it actually can make you gain weight, not lose. This is because when you drink Aspartame it sort of has the same response as when your body ingests high fructose corn syrup. It causes your pancreas to start releasing high levels of insulin which then signals your body to start storing things as fat.
Now onto your fitness goal. For the month of May, I want to encourage you to: stretch at least 3 times a week!!! So many times we forget about that important part of our fitness routine. Stretching elongates our muscles and keeps us from injury. You can go online and google many different types of stretches that you can do. Make sure you don't over stretch- you don't want to tear anything. When you stretch, only go as far as you can without feeling pain. As you do it several times a week, your flexibility will improve.