Updated: Feb 3, 2021
If you search this exact phrase, "does aspartame break a fast", you will find many experts in the field begrudgingly state that although they don't recommend aspartame, it does not break a fast and therefore can be had during your fasting period.
And although I can understand where these experts are coming from, I've found the opposite to be true. Today I'm breaking down whether or not you should have aspartame during your fasting period.
What is Aspartame?
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that is around 200 times sweeter than table sugar (sucrose). It can typically be found in those little "sugar" packets under the names Nutrasweet and Equal to add to your coffee. You will often see aspartame used in "zero sugar" products such as diet sodas and sugar-free candies.
Does Aspartame Break a Fast?
Unlike sucrose, aspartame is not a significant source of carbohydrates and therefore has not been found to increase the insulin response. With Intermittent Fasting, one of the main studied benefits is improved insulin sensitivity. Typically, for our goals with the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle, this would mean that aspartame is a green light to have during your fasted state. BUT simply looking at this factor could be halting your weight loss goals. Let me explain...
Here's Why I Don't Recommend It
Although aspartame is NOT a significant source of sugar/carbohydrates and therefore does NOT stimulate the release of inulin, it CAN have a negative effect on blood glucose levels and weight loss goals. In fact, scientists have found that these artificial sweeteners actually increase hunger and can lead to increased food intake. This is likely due to the fact that when we taste something sweet, the brain and body expects the carbohydrates to follow. When they don't - the brain may boost hunger in order to seek out the carbohydrates it was expecting. Other studies have even found that artificial sweeteners can lead to glucose intolerance and insulin resistance... which is the exact OPPOSITE of what you're looking to achieve with Intermittent Fasting.
Instead of sipping on a diet soda or adding Equal to your black coffee, try THESE drinks that won't break your fast and actually help you achieve your wellness goals.