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Feb 6 2008

Aspartame and Weight Loss

If I'm on a diet, will drinking sodas sweetened with aspartame help me to lose weight?

The formula for shedding those unwanted, unhealthy pounds is to take in fewer calories and increase physical activity.

A total diet makeover is difficult. Making small changes, like replacing regular sweetened soda with sodas sweetened with aspartame, saves about 125 calories per can. So in one week, this one change -- using diet sodas -- can save a total of 875 calories. In one month, this change alone could translate to 3,750 calories. That's enough for a one-pound weight loss per month.

A three-year study at Harvard Medical School, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that aspartame users lost significantly more weight, overall. That suggests that aspartame can be a helpful part of a weight-loss and weight-maintenance program that includes healthy eating plus physical activity. Click here to read this study and more.

Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Aspartame is essentially calorie free because only a tiny amount is needed to sweeten foods and beverages.

Besides carbonated soft drinks, aspartame is used as an ingredient to sweeten products like puddings, gelatins, frozen desserts, yogurt, hot cocoa mixes, teas, breath mints and sugarless chewing gum.

Aspartame can be used as a sugar alternative in many recipes for desserts, snacks, sauces, and dressings. You get the sweetness without the calories. Taste doesn't have to be compromised!

Are there carbohydrates in aspartame?

No. This makes aspartame an ideal ingredient for people on low-carbohydrate diets or people with diabetes who need to count carbohydrates to manage their blood sugars.

Molly Gee, Houston, TX, is a registered dietitian and provides expert counsel to the Aspartame Resource Center.

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