Excitotoxins…not so “exciting”!


Have you ever heard of the term “excitotoxins”? 


You may not have heard of excitotoxins, but chances are you’ve consumed them before. 


At first glance, the word “excitotoxins” almost looks kind of “exciting”… but the word “toxin” is there for a reason. 


Manufacturers put excitotoxins into foods to make them taste better. However, while they may make food more enticing, they cause cell death and a host of other issues.  


The two most common offenders for excitotoxins are aspartame and monosodium glutamate (MSG).


This week, I’m going to focus on aspartame. Next week, I’ll address MSG.


Eating aspartame is associated with the following health issues:


·     Weight gain

·     Fatty liver

·     High blood pressure

·     Neurological and brain issues

·     Migraines

·     Asthma attacks

·     Neausea

·     Damage to the intestinal wall

·     Strokes

·     Alzheimer’s

·     Seizures

·     Hardening of the arteries

·     Cancer, especially breast and prostate cancers

·     Joint pain

·     Fatigue


This is just a short list of potential issues caused by aspartame. The list could go on and on.

Now that you know the dangers of consuming aspartame, how can you make sure you aren’t ingesting it? What foods should you avoid?


Aspartame is most well-known for being in sugar substitutes, like EqualNutrasweet, and Natrataste Blue. However, you can also find it in:

·     Soft drinks

·     Chewing gum and mints

·     Based sweets

·     Gelatins, puddings and pie fillings

·     Boxed dessert mixes

·     Yogurt (regular and drinkable)

·     Frozen desserts and ice cream

·     Sweetener packs

·     Chewable vitamins

·     Cereals

·     Sugar-free cough syrup

·     Nutrition bars

·     Sugar-free and fat-free products 

·     Jams and jellies

·     Ice cream toppings

·     Iced tea

·     Diet soft drinks

·     Hard candies

·     Flavored syrups

·     Instant Cocoa mix

·     Vegetable drinks


Whoa! It seems to be in everything! How can you avoid eating aspartame when it’s in so many foods? 


One easy way to avoid eating aspartame is to avoid non-fat and fat-free foods. 


When fat is removed from foods, manufacturers need to add in something to replace the flavor. They often use sugar, but they also often use aspartame. 


Eating the regular-fat versions of food will actually make you feel fuller longer and will help you to avoid extra sugar in your diet (which is worse for your health than fat).


Another way to avoid eating aspartame is to use healthier sugar alternatives instead.



These include:

·     Raw honey

·     Monk fruit (lo han)

·     Stevia

·     Dates

·     Coconut Sugar

·     100% pure maple syrup

·     Blackstrap molasses

·     Maple Sugar

·     Date Sugar


Yes, these substitutes still contain sugar, but in a more natural, holistic form. So, they are healthier than eating regular white table sugar that has been stripped of nutrients.


However, you still don’t want to overdo it. Keeping your sugar intake low is one way to boost your health and keep you feeling energized and emotionally stable.


So, if you just HAVE TO have some sweetness, opt for a more natural option like those listed above.


Next week, I’m going to address the other major excitotoxin: MSG. Stay tuned!...



Here’s to your TRUE Health,

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Julie Watson2 Comments