The calories in vs calories out answer is no. If that is all you were looking for, you can continue to another website which will also promise you ten effortless ways to lose five pounds by tomorrow. This is the sad state of dieting and nutrition. Although Aspartame has significantly less calories than sugar and when used to replace sugar in your diet you will lose weight, Aspartame has some nasty health risks and risks to your jean size.
Hidden Health Risks of Aspartame
As of 2016, the National Institute of Health concluded a several yearlong studies on the effects of Aspartame (And sugar substitutes) on the brain. The National Institute of Health’s research concluded that aspartame has a direct correlation between increased risk and onset of dementia at an earlier age. This is no surprise, depending on the research you follow. The medical community has remained conflicted over the safety of aspartame since the introduction of aspartame in the 1980’s.
The conclusions of studies range from “Safe in all Conditions” to “Unsafe in any Condition” when it comes to conclusions on Aspartame. The effects on the brain do have some solid conclusions. If you are prone to depression or any ailment of the brain (From emotional to cognition deficiencies), Aspartame can cause adverse reactions.
This means that it can make the underlying problems you have worse. I know if I struggle with depression, I do not want to take anything that makes it worse. This reaction has been so strong that multiple studies on the impact of Aspartame on individuals with Depression or mood disorders have been canceled due to the adverse reactions by participants. If it is too unsafe to test, should we really consume it?
So why use Aspartame for Weight Loss?
This is the part where we go back to calories in, vs calories out. Aspartame is up to 150 times sweeter than sugar. Due to this, a micro dose can make a product, or commonly a beverage, as sweet or sweeter than a sugar beverage. I know personally, I find diet soda far sweeter than regular soda, and I dislike the granular taste I get from regular soda. Aspartame gives me the sweet fix without the weight gain. This is the most common use of Aspartame.
The Truth of Aspartame
I will be the first to admit, I still drink diet soda. I understand I increase my risk of dementia and mood disorders. But for most people, it may not be the right call. And not because Aspartame is linked to dementia. But because Aspartame is not all it was cracked up to be. In fact, Aspartame is not calorie free as touted.
This is the biggest problem with sugar substitutes and the FDA. If the product has less than five calories a serving, you can list the calorie count at zero. So your sugar free gum, which is listed as zero calories, actually has around three calories per piece. The diet soda you are drinking has around the same. Compared to the regular soda with 150 calories, it is not bad. But if you think you are consuming zero calories, you are packing on a hundred calories a day in gum and diet soda.
Aspartame’s association with increased hunger and weight gain causes further confusion. As recently as 1999, The British Journal of Clinical Nutrition has concluded that although Aspartame does not lead to a direct increase in insulin, the perception of sweetness can cause an increased craving for sweet food. This increase is individual specific. Person A may crave a box of doughnuts, but Per B does not.
Is that bad thing?
This direct risk increase is not exactly sound science I would rest my hat on, but it makes me leery. The final nail in the coffin would be more recent studies on diabetics on Aspartame. When diabetics consumed Aspartame in breakfast foods, when compared to those consuming sucrose, have an increased desire for sweets.
The Truth of Aspartame, and to answer is Aspartame is good for weight loss, is that it can help you lose weight if you follow a strict diet and are able to fight the increased urges and cravings. But it also comes with increased risk for long term health ailments. Sugar may make you fat, but it will not make you forget everything at an early age. I personally do consume diet soda, some with Aspartame, when dieting. Eventually the increased hunger will catch up on you.
Find all the resources used in this article and the scientific basis of all our article at The Science Behind Fitness.