One of the reasons behind the obesity epidemic in the United States is consumption excessive simple carbohydrates and processed foods, which result in high levels of blood glucose and insulin. This in turn increases the storage of fat and inhibits the possibility of burning it. Diet products, such as diet sodas, contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame that help reduce caloric intake. However, the consumption of aspartame can also increase the levels of sugar and insulin in the blood.
Aspartame is one of the artificial sweeteners approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration. It is found in various foods, including some baked goods, canned foods, sweets and dairy products. Aspartame is a synthetic sugar that is significantly sweeter than real sugar, but it does not contain calories. The possible benefits of aspartame are weight control and the prevention of dental caries.
Blood glucose levels
Scientists at Maastricht University in the Netherlands investigated the effects of aspartame on the blood glucose levels of healthy men. The subjects drank a drink with aspartame in three separate visits. Blood glucose levels were measured before and after consumption of aspartame. At the end of the study, which was published in the December 1999 issue of the "British Journal of Nutrition," the researchers observed that 40% of participants had a reduction in blood glucose levels, while 20 % experienced an increase. In addition, 40% had stable levels of glucose in the blood.
Researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center studied the impact of aspartame on glucose and blood insulin levels. The subjects were assigned aspartame, stevia or sucrose in their lunches and dinners. The scientists observed that those who were in the aspartame group had higher levels of glucose and insulin after their meals compared to those in the stevia group. The discoveries were reported in the August 2010 edition of "Appetite."
Aspartame use has several side effects, including nausea, bloating, diarrhea, upset stomach, and headache. If you experience any of these side effects you should reduce or eliminate aspartame from your diet.