Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Aspartame Safety and Benefits of Confirmed by Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Great news for diet soda lovers! The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, recently reaffirmed the safety and benefits of low calorie sweeteners. As I've said a million times, low calorie sweeteners (like aspartame), are great options when you want to lower your daily sugar intake -and they can be part of a healthy diet or weight maintenance plan. Especially for those of us who love soda, but want to enjoy low-cal versions.

Specifically on aspartame, AND concluded:
“Aspartame consumption is not associated with adverse effects in the general population. Studies have found no evidence of a wide range of adverse effects of aspartame, including hypersensitivity reactions, elevated blood methanol or formate levels, and hematopoietic or brain cancers. Neurologic changes tested included cognitive functions, seizures, headaches, and changes in memory or mood.”

Additionally, in relation to aspartame and other safety issues, the Academy concluded:

 “Limited evidence from human studies suggests that aspartame consumption is not associated with detrimental effect on blood methanol, eye problems, acne, blood pressure, seizure disorder, or attention deficit disorder in children. There is limited evidence from human studies for three special adult populations. In people with diabetes, aspartame consumption is not associated with elevated plasma phenylalanine and tyrosine levels, fasting glucose control, intolerance to aspartame, ophthalmologic effects, heart rhythm, or weight.”

The Academy offers these suggestions for healthfully consuming nutritive and non-nutritive sweeteners, including:
  • Enjoy the sweet taste of foods and beverages but keep your calorie count lower by choosing from the variety of low- and reduced-calorie sweeteners approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • As part of a healthful eating plan as outlined in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, safely enjoy the range of calorie-containing and low-calorie sweeteners in foods and beverages.

Read more about the position paper on the Calorie Control website, here.

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