Sweeteners: Part I – Aspartame

I usually advise my diabetic clients to get used to life without sugar and not to opt for sweeteners and the like. There are two reasons for this.

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First, it is our compulsions and urges that usually get us afflicted with lifestyle conditions such as diabetes and trying to find sweeteners and the like isn’t consistent with a frame of mind that’s trying to defeat the ailment – accept it, get used to it and then live with it. If they do feel like the odd treat, I encourage them to opt for real sugar, but to keep it random and not to make it a routine.

Second, most artificial sweeteners have their secrets and side effects and I’d much rather we ate real sugar every once in a while, than build up these side-effect prone substitutes in our bodies. One of those side effects incidentally, is the building of glucose intolerance over time.

But that’s me. You might be more interested in finding a sugar substitute that is safe to consume over a long period of time.

Let’s see what’s available:

  • Aspartame
  • Acesulfame K
  • Sucralose
  • Sodium Cyclamate and Sodium Saccharin
  • Stevia


Diet coke is one of many prominent products that use Aspartame as a sweetener

One of the most widely used sweeteners that’s been in use for as long as most of us can remember. It’s been linked to all kind of horrible side effects though we do have research papers that say it’s being unfairly blamed. After sorting through related research, I found Aspartame to be linked to:

Conclusion: If you have a history of depression or other emotional issues and migraines, I suggest avoiding it. Even otherwise, considering chronic (long term) use has it’s own issues, please keep consumption low, incidental and don’t make it a routine.

Next: Acesulfame Pottasium


  1. Aspartame and its effects on health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC520987/
  2. Neurobehavioral Effects of Aspartame Consumption
  3. Chronic aspartame intake causes changes in the trans-sulphuration pathway, glutathione depletion and liver damage in mice
  4. Adverse reactions to aspartame: double-blind challenge in patients from a vulnerable population
  5. Aspartame as a dietary trigger of headache
  6. Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota

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