Diet soda has been prescribed by professionals for years as a healthier alternative to non-diet soda products, specifically due to the lower sugar intake. In fact, diet soda is almost always void of any grams of sugar due to the magic of artificial sweeteners like ASPARTAME! This replacement is a miracle for some and a disaster for others.
Let’s start at the beginning. What is it? And why are we talking about it?
Aspartame is, according to the FDA, one of the most widely used artificial sweeteners since its inception in 1981. It is used in place of sugar in consumable products. The reason it is important is simple: it’s found in many different products that we consumers may or may not know about.
Here’s just a short (ha!) list of products that contain aspartame:Breath Mints Cereal Chewing Gum Flavored Coffee Syrups Flavored Water Products Frozen Ice Frozen Ice Cream Novelties Fruit Spreads Gelatin, Sugar Free Hard Candies Ice Cream Toppings Ice Creams, No Sugar
or Sugar Free Iced Tea, Powder Iced Tea, Ready to Drink Instant Cocoa Mix Jams & Jellies Juice Blends Juice Drinks Maple Syrups Meal Replacements Mousse No Sugar Added Pies Non-Carbonated Diet Soft drinks Nutritional Bars Powdered Soft Drinks Protein Nutritional Drinks Pudding Soft Candy Chews Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup Sugar Free Cookies Sugar Free Ketchup Table Top Sweeteners Vegetable Drinks Yogurt, Drinkable Yogurt, Fat Free Yogurt, Sugar Free
Did you make it through all that? Great! Let’s continue!
The FDA’s stand on aspartame is:
Considering results from the large number of studies on aspartame’s safety, including five previously conducted negative chronic carcinogenicity studies, a recently reported large epidemiology study with negative associations between the use of aspartame and the occurrence of tumors, and negative findings from a series of three transgenic mouse assays, FDA finds no reason to alter its previous conclusion that aspartame is safe as a general purpose sweetener in food.
There is a pro-aspartame website that you can view and gather information on, but the basic claim it makes is:
The overwhelming body of scientific evidence clearly demonstrates that aspartame, even in amounts many times what people typically consume, is safe and not associated with adverse aspartame side effects.
Cancer.org also states that:
Complaints of various health issues have circulated since aspartame first appeared on the market in the 1980s. But for most people, no health problems have clearly been linked to aspartame use.
Andddddd! Now… LETS GET DANGEROUS!
For starters: Aspartame is linked to leukemia and lymphoma, Aspartame’s neurological side effects, other side effects of Aspartame, and Etc. One specific anti-aspartame rally crier is Mercola which states that:
Aspartate and glutamate act as neurotransmitters in the brain by facilitating the transmission of information from neuron to neuron. Too much aspartate or glutamate in the brain kills certain neurons by allowing the influx of too much calcium into the cells. This influx triggers excessive amounts of free radicals, which kill the cells. The neural cell damage that can be caused by excessive aspartate and glutamate is why they are referred to as “excitotoxins.” They “excite” or stimulate the neural cells to death.
What’s more, the different parts to aspartame are:
Phenylalanine: again discussed by Dr. Blaylock, in excessive can cause schizophrenia or make one more susceptible to seizures.
Finally, Methanol, which…is just poison.
One side says Aspartame is linked to brain tumors, the other side says Aspartame is completely harmless. In the end, it is all up to choice. Are you a believer or are you abashed by all the aspartame hate?