Answer: Aspartame is not keto-friendly as it is linked to potential health risks.
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener which is 180-200 times sweeter than sucrose. It contains 4 calories per gram, but the amounts required to produce a sweet taste are so small that the calorie content is negligible.
Many diet sodas contain aspartame. A standard 12-oz can of Diet Coke contains about 200 mg of aspartame. Companies sell aspartame under a variety of names, including NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure.
Aspartame will not raise insulin levels or increase blood glucose levels. As a result, some consider it to be a keto-friendly sweetener. Yet, there are potential problems associated with its use. Many people have reported that their weight loss plateaued when they began taking aspartame. However, some studies have found that aspartame can actually speed up weight loss. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics concluded that “Use of aspartame and aspartame-sweetened products as part of a comprehensive weight loss or maintenance program by individuals may be associated with greater weight loss and may assist individuals with weight maintenance over time.”
People have claimed that aspartame can contribute to cancer. However, a recent meta-study, which reviewed almost fifty studies, concluded that “despite some rather unscientific assumptions, there is no evidence that aspartame is carcinogenic.”
Still, many contend that aspartame poses health risks. Aspartame is responsible for three-quarters of the adverse reactions to food additives that are reported to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) each year. Researchers have claimed that the aspartic acid contained in aspartame kills cells in the brain by allowing for excess calcium to come into the cells.
Fifty percent of aspartame is phenylalanine. Consuming it can lead to excess levels of phenylalanine in the brain, which, in turn, reduces the levels of serotonin. This may lead to problems associated with depression.
When you’re after a keto-friendly sweetener, opt for a natural alternative like stevia which does not carry the potential risks of aspartame.