When you’re trying to cut body fat, every single calorie matters. Finding various ways to save on calories can make it a much easier process. An often overlooked process of cutting is the fact that you want to make it as easy as possible on yourself. The harder it is, the less likely you are to stick to the plan.
One of the most common ways to do this is to use products that are 0 calories and contain some sort of artificial sweetener like aspartame, otherwise known as cancer powder.
The big issue a lot of people are dying to know (LOL at that pun) is if artificial sweeteners are actually putting the final nail in your coffin, or if they’re something that’s perfectly fine in the context of a normal diet, and can actually help you lose weight.
First, a rundown on why people use artificial sweeteners:
0 calorie sweeteners are used by people because they help cut out calories. Things like aspartame provide 0 caloric hit, but still pack a sweet punch. For someone who is trying to lose weight, this is a big freaking deal. Eating foods that are lower in calories and satisfying your sweet tooth could help lots of people stay on their diet without totally fucking it up by eating 12 cookies and binging on Netflix.
Say you’ve only got about 2,000 calories to spend in a given day and still lose fat. Only having to spend a whopping 0 of those on something sweet like a Coke Zero, and using the rest on highly nutritious foods that are filling, and good for you is far better than spending 400+ on a food that isn’t very filling or doesn’t pack a nutritious punch.
It’s a no brainer, that isn’t giving you brain cancer.
Why people think artificial sweeteners are killing them:
We freak out about artificial sweeteners mainly because of headlines. There’s really no better explanation than the fact that the 24 hour news cycle always needs something to report on, and if they can get a crazy headline out of a study involving a bunch of rats, they will.
The reality is, aspartame is one of the most studied food additives in existence today. It’s been studied hundreds of times in a shit ton of countries. Seriously, something like 90 countries have studied aspartame and its effects. When something gets studied that often, if it turns out to be really bad it usually gets banned completely.
We constantly hear about the dangers of aspartame, and the issues that its consumption might be linked to. What we don’t hear about is how much aspartame it takes to become dangerous.
There is in fact a limit to how much aspartame someone should safely consume within a given day, and that limit can be reached by drinking about 18 diet cokes in a single day.
If you’re hitting your daily limit of aspartame thanks to 18 diet cokes, or a high intake of foods that contain artificial sweeteners, then you definitely need to make some changes. Even then, I’d argue your diet is probably so poor that artificial sweeteners probably shouldn’t be the #1 concern on your list.
In addition to all of the media mumbo jumbo is the fact that most of the studies blown out of proportion are done on rodents. Now, I’ve got nothing against rodents. Most of them are pretty chill bros just trying to get by. But bro rodents and human rodents aren’t exactly the same thing.
Bro rodents have tails. We don’t. Bro rodents get caught in mouse traps chasing cheese, and we get caught in traps chasing women. Bro rodents also metabolize things like aspartame differently than humans.
Rodent studies are absolutely valuable, and they’re necessary for us to learn. They aren’t the end all be all when it comes to recommending dietary advice to humans though. Maybe if we had tails, it would be more applicable.
Side note: holy shit would it be sweet to have a tail or what?
Sure, dosing a rat full of aspartame can give it cancer. That same thing can be said for damn near anything. The poison is in the dose. Even for things as safe as water.
Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners aren’t killing you. If you’re trying to lose weight, drop fat, get sexy, or any other term for looking studly then artificial sweeteners can offer a serious benefit. Don’t believe me? Check out the badass rundown my friends over at Examine.com put together. They dig far deeper into the science than I could ever have the patience to.