How bad are diet sodas? And I drink one with my lunch every day.
Diet sodas are some of the most controversial food items in our diets at the moment. Depending on who you talk to you’ll get a completely different answer on their safety. The controversy actually surrounds the artificial sweeteners used in diet sodas instead of sugar.
At the center of the controversy is the most popular of the artificial sweeteners, aspartame, also known as NutraSweet or Equal. Since it is estimated that two thirds of adults now consume aspartame regularly, questions on it’s safety need to be addressed. Introduced to the public by the Monsanto Corporation in 1981, aspartame is a chemical sweetener said to be 150 – 200 times sweeter than sugar. It is found in thousands of products, including most diet sodas. The assumed benefits of the sweetener include significantly lowering the sugar intake of the general public and therefore curbing the obesity epidemic, providing safe sweeteners for diabetics and those suffering from any other sugar-restricted illness and decreasing the Western world’s sugar dependency significantly.
However, shortly after the sweetener was introduced, complaints of the chemical’s effects on consumers began to mount. These complaints against aspartame include mood disorders, the eroding of intelligence, affecting of short-term memory, seizures, headaches and ironically “paradoxical effects on appetite”, ie. increased appetite and food cravings. Detrimental effects as serious as birth defects, cancer, brain tumor and diabetes started mounting less than a decade after the sweetener’s release.
Despite these complaints, the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. and Health Canada continue to designate aspartame as ‘Generally Recognized As Safe’ (GRAS). They cite many studies that have shown the chemical to be safe. However, many complain that the studies chosen are biased in that they have all been funded by those with a vested interest in aspartame, and that studies relying on outside funding which find problems with the sweetener are ignored. In his “Survey of Aspartame Studies“, Dr. Ralph Walton looked at 166 relevant aspartame studies. He found that 100% of the studies with aspartame industry related funding (74 studies) found no safety issues in consumption of aspartame, while 92% of those with independent funding (92 studies) identified problems with the sweetener, some questioning the chemical’s potential neurotoxicity.
At the very least, I think we can safely say that something funny is going on with the status of aspartame in our food products. I won’t go into a detailed explanation of the nature of the toxicity of artificial sweeteners, however I will point those who are interested in the right direction.
And don’t think that other artificial sweeteners are a safe alternative. Splenda and all the rest have long lists of complaints behind them as well.
I generally believe that anything with this amount of controversy behind it, with these kinds of complaints being issued in the numbers that they are, should be avoided at all costs. Regardless of the chemical’s designation as safe or unsafe, everyone should be asking themselves if it is something they want to be consuming. Artificial sweeteners are man-made chemicals of questionable origin, synthesized in labs and, prior to 30 years ago, had never before been consumed by anything on planet earth. Does this describe something that should become a staple in your diet?
Here are some comments from my clients:
I’ll share a solution I found.. I have a hard time drinking lots of water (just don’t like it..) even though I know I should. I’ve always been a juice fiend but am trying to avoid the sugar. I like flavored water but they are full of aspartame, and I tend to agree with Doug on the general creepiness of the stuff. So I got some lemon extract, and add a few drops to my water bottle, so now I’ve got flavored water with no sugar and minimal cost.
About 20 months ago i was diagnosed with some diabetes. Immediately l changed my diet, including sugar in my coffee. Instead of sugar, l used (Twin Sugar) and also the(white little)different brand. Since day 1 until 3 months ago, I had been suffering with body-ache headache and even sweats, sleepy. I have been taking extra strength Advil everyday.
About 3 months, l did read in this website right here, about complains from people that had the same symptoms. Conclusion: I stopped that poison TWIN SUGAR… Since that day until now, no more body pain, no more headache, no more sleepy symptoms. God Bless the people who published about that Twin sugar and anything that has that poison sweet in. Its a slow killer; trust me!
I believe that aspartame is a poison. I used to drink diet soda, and one day, I woke up, I couldn’t move. I had so much pain everywhere. My joints were swollen, everything hurt. Well, I read that it can do that to some people. I quit drinking the stuff, and the pain went away. I tried again a few years later, just to test if it was really the product or if it was a coincidence, and the pain started coming back. Got my answer ;). I wonder why they keep saying the stuff is safe when it’s not…
I have had similar instances where i would hurt all over and could barely dry my hair with a hair dryer, because i was very weak feeling and couldn’t hold it up for a long period of time. i had to keep sitting the dryer down until i was ok to lift it again. my whole body feels weak and run down, like i have no energy to move with. I’m now going to find out if this is what is causing my problem im having. my bones tend to hurt dramatically and my feet sometimes hurt so bad. not from standing on them , but from my bones in my feet hurting.and there is no cause for this pain to be found. i hope people will listen to this from all directions , especially from a insecticide company.
Aspartame is another example of how Congress and the FDA as well as other gov’t agencies. Push thru awful products for money. The only way this stuff got legalized was by midnight payoffs.
Twenty plus years ago, Sixty Minutes did a show on aspartame and how it was made & legalized. It is one of the worst chemicals out there.
Do not drink or eat it!!
About Author: Doug DiPasquale, Holistic Nutritionist and trained chef, living in Toronto.