Aspartame is like the wolf dressed as Red Riding Hood’s grandmother. It seems like a sweet alternative to sugar, but in reality, it is lethal to a menopausal woman’s brain health.
1. Aspartame makes symptoms worse. During the hormonal changes that come with menopause, women may find themselves dealing with new symptoms related to brain health: sleep issues, depression, anxiety and memory problems. Aspartame, found in most diet sodas, and in Equal and Nutrasweet, is an excitotoxin which overstimulates, and possibly kills, nerve cells.
Although found in over 6,000 diet products and pronounced safe by the FDA, aspartame has been linked to a variety of neurological issues including insomnia, memory loss and depression. The sweetener contains aspartic acid and pheylalanine, two stimulating substances that compete in the brain with tryptophan and serotonin, brain chemicals that help you relax and feel good. In other words, sweet-tasting aspartame makes it harder for your brain to keep you feeling good.
2. A poison tied to cancer. Aspartame breaks down into methanol, which converts into the carcinogen formaldehyde, used to embalm corpses. This may be why the FDA has had more reports of bad reactions to aspartame than for all other foods and food additives combined. In 2006, the National Institutes of Health linked the sweetener to cancer.
3. Aspartame’s other names. Besides NutraSweet and Equal, aspartame is also known as Canderel, Spoonful, Natrataste, and AminoSweet. Look for it in diet and sugar-free sodas and drinks, sugar-free chewing gum, yogurt, breath mints, instant breakfasts, frozen desserts, juice beverages, and gelatins.
4. You don’t need it. To maximize your midlife health, give your brain rich nutrients that help you sleep, feel good and stay vital. Try to develop a taste for the delicious natural sugars in foods. And for when you must have something sweet, give our list of favored sweeteners a try: Stevia, Susta, Navitas Naturals low-glycemic yacon syrup, or lucuma powder.