What is aspartame?
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener made from a combination of two amino acids, namely aspartic acid and phenylalanine. This substance is commonly used to replace the role of sugar in food and drinks. Aspartame has a level of sweetness up to 200 times compared to ordinary sugar, but has the same number of calories.
Although it is much sweeter than sugar, both of them have four calories per gram of calories. The sweetness that is far above the sugar makes us only need to consume it in small amounts. With the same calorie content as granulated sugar, but using a little, automatically the number of calories that enter the body will be less.
Is this artificial sweetener safe?
When consuming aspartame, the body's metabolic process will break it down into methanol. The process also occurs in your body when eating fruit, juice, fermented drinks, and several other vegetables, so that the aspartame metabolic process is not a new process for the body. Although it is an artificial sweetener, the use of this substance has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Association (FDA) as a safe sweetener for consumption since 1981.
In line with the FDA, BPOM also allows the use of aspartame as an artificial sweetener as long as it keeps in mind the restrictions on the amount of intake per day. Even if it is permitted and safe, it does not mean that its use does not bring controversy about the possible adverse effects.
According to the Diabetes Self-Management website, the use of aspartame carries several adverse effects on health. Some of them are methanol poisoning. Methanol poisoning is characterized by symptoms of headache, vertigo, buzzing ears, and weakness. Other adverse effects that may arise are brain damage to cancer. However, there has been no official claim that this artificial sweetener is harmful to the body.
So far, aspartame is the most tested substance. Based on the test results, this substance can be consumed by almost everyone, except those born with a rare genetic disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU). This disorder makes the body of the sufferer unable to break down phenylalanine, so the consumption of artificial sweeteners containing phenylalanine will certainly have a bad impact.
Aspartame for diabetic patients
Being a person with diabetes means paying attention to the sugar intake that enters his body. Not only sugar, they also have to control the number of calories and carbohydrates from food and beverages consumed.
With a level of sweetness that reaches 200 times more than natural sweeteners, aspartame is often chosen by diabetics to give sweetness to their food and drinks as a substitute for sugar. By using this artificial sweetener, diabetics can still enjoy sweetness without worrying about the number of calories that enter.
Although it is safe for diabetics, its use cannot be given carelessly. You still have to pay attention to the ingredients that enter the body.
BPOM states that allowed aspartame intake is as much as 40 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day. So, if you weigh 50 kilograms, then the amount of sweetener you can consume per day is 2,000 milligrams per day.
Even so, in fact the amount you consume daily is usually only 10 percent of the BPOM recommendation limit. This is because these artificial sweeteners have a very high sweetness, so you only need very little.
Some people may feel uncomfortable or hesitant about using aspartame because of its unnatural nature, even though some research has stated it is safe. It is recommended that diabetics continue to consult with a doctor regarding the use of safe aspartame and the recommended dosage per day. Especially if you will go on a diet and replace its natural sugar intake.
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