Equal, also known as aspartame, NutraSweet and Spoonful, is one of the most widely used artificial sweeteners in the United States. Found in more than 6,000 products nationwide, Equal is now a part of American’s daily lives. Some popular food products that contain this sweetener are soft drinks, cereal, candy, chewing gum, pudding, ice cream, energy drinks, jello, syrup, cookies and even baby food.
The pros and cons of Equal sweetener
Equal is popular for food companies because it is cost efficient and their profit margins are extremely high. This sugar substitute is popular for consumers due to the belief that it has little calories and may be tooth-friendly. Even though it does have pros, the cons far exceed the pros. Certain researchers have concluded that Equal can cause brain damage similar to monosodium glutamate (MSG). They believe Equal is a neurotoxin because their studies showed that it can destroy nerve endings in brain cells.
Equal side effects
Ever since Equal sweetener has been approved, thousands of complaints has been sent to the FDA, but not much has been done about them. A lot of these complaints involve serious side effects, such as headaches, abdominal pain, nausea, dizziness, temporary blindness, mood changes and shakes. When your body produces side effects from consuming something, it is your body’s way of telling you to avoid it.
Even though the FDA confirmed that Equal is safe, independent researchers claimed that this sugar substitute is a hazard to health due to the fact that their studies have linked it to cancer, obesity, diabetes, headaches, blindness, brain tumors, seizures, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological disorders.
So, which one should you believe? The FDA or independent researchers? My advise is to trust independent researchers just as much as the FDA or more, because independent researchers are not influenced by money from food and drug companies. The FDA is usually run by leaders who have strong ties with the pharmaceutical industry. In other words, there is a strong conflict of interest.
How Equal destroys brain cells
When Equal (aspartame) is in the body, it releases a byproduct called aspartate, which is a excitatory amino acid. These types of amino acids are considered normal by the body and are allowed to pass the blood-brain barrier. The danger about Equal is that the chemical structure of its amino acid is missing very important molecules. These important molecules are found in natural food for many purposes. One of them is to prevent food from breaking down into toxic chemicals. Equal does not have these molecules; therefore, it is broken down rather quickly, causing a spike in aspartate.
High levels of aspartate can overstimulate and starve brain cells, causing them to die prematurely. In other words, Equal is basically making us dumber and dumber every time we consume it.
Tips for reducing Equal consumption
- Avoid diet soft drinks and drinks with low calories.
- Avoid junk food with low calories and sugar free.
- If the nutrition label of a food product contains aspartame, Equal, NutraSweet or Spoonful, avoid it.
- Avoid other artificial sweeteners and stop using artificial sweetener to sweeten your coffee and drinks.
- Eat whole food, such as organic fruits and vegetables instead of processed food.
- Drink water and natural juice instead of soft drinks.
- Avoid energy drinks, many of them contain artificial sweeteners.
- Avoid food that has sugar substitutes.
Recommended natural sweetener
One of the best and healthiest natural sweeteners is stevia (stevia rebaudiana). Stevia is a natural herb that has a very sweet flavor. In its natural state, stevia is about 15 times sweeter than table sugar. However, the extracted form of stevia can be 300 times sweeter than sugar. For best results, consume organic stevia. Visit for some great selections of organic stevia.
The danger of Aspartame, Sucralose (Nutrasweet & Splenda)
- Blaylock, Russell L. Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills. Health Press. Santa Fe, NM, 1996.
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