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How sweet it is.
October 2nd, 2013

These days, most of us are highly aware of how much sugar we are putting into our bodies, and more importantly, what kind of sugar it is. One of the most common sweeteners out there today is aspartame and is sold under the brand names of NutraSweet® and Equal®. It is used in countless foods and beverages and it is nearly impossible to find a sugar-free gum that does not contain aspartame. And because it is around 200 times sweeter than regular refined sugar, less of it can be used to obtain the same amount of sweetness, which means lower calories. Who doesn’t want that?!?

But what is it? Discovered in 1965, aspartame has been used in the US since the early 1980s and it is comprised of two main ingredients- aspartic acid and phenylalanine, both of which are amino acids. Amino acids are the base of proteins and are naturally found in many foods. Aspartame can not be used in foods that require much heating since it breaks down from the heat. It is an artificial, non-saccharide sweetener. There is also a small amount of methanol, which adds a nice little flavor and is in more than 6000 products and used by more than 200 million people worldwide.

Is it healthy? Well, there are rumors floating around that state this sweetener causes many health problems, one of which is cancer, and have been circulating the Internet for years. The FDA regulates the use of sweeteners and it must be tested and deemed safe before companies are allowed to sell and use it. Per the FDA, the daily intake for an adult that weighs approximately 165 pounds is 3,750 milligrams, which is about 21 cans of diet soda. The Aspartame Information Center states that it is a great tool to help lose weight and maintain a healthy diet, since it is low-calorie and contains fewer carbohydrates.

As far as whether it causes cancer or not, researchers have determined that the results from studies done do not provide definitive evidence that aspartame is linked to cancer. Other problems that have been researched due to the use of this sweetener include Phenylketonurina (PKU), headaches, digestive problems, dizziness, and diabetes. PKU is a genetic disorder that is present at birth and is very rare. The body cannot break down phenylalanine and if levels are built up within the body, it can prevent other chemicals from getting to the brain.

At this time and from current evidence, the FDA and other agencies continue to approve the use of aspartame and its safety on our bodies. Of course, although the amino acids are naturally-occurring, this is still a manufactured chemical and everyone makes their own decisions on what they put into their bodies and at what amounts. If you have any medical concerns over aspartame, or any other food, it is always best to consult your physician and dietician to go over those concerns and any other options available.

As part of a balanced diet, any kind of sweetener should be taken in low amounts to keep your body healthy. And here at Nana’s we care about what you put into your body, which is why we do not add dairy, eggs, beets, corn, cholesterol, or refined sugars. We want you to be at your best and enjoy what you are eating at the same time!

So from now until October 11th, 2013, get 25% off of the No Gluten Ginger Cookie and No Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookie with the promo code "sweet2013". You also get FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $50 using the same code.

So grab a cookie and enjoy the fall season!

References: www.cancer.org, www.aspartame.org
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