Thursday, September 6, 2012

I used to be a Diet Coke Girl


Back during my "diet' days of my early college years I was hooked on Diet Coke. In fact regrettably I may have indulged in some Diet Coke during pregnancy. I thought "oh its calorie free and so tasty!" The idea of ever drinking another  Diet Coke again sends my mind whirling and my stomach churning! I've been Diet Coke sober for over 3 years now AND fake sugar free as well. I knew something was up after every time I had a Diet Coke or anything with aspartame my stomach HURT for hours!

In step with the strike sugar September initiative by the Eat Clean Diet team (read more about that here) I'm going to discuss fake sugars and why they are NOT good for you. I was inspired by this post by the Wellness Warrior. 
The most current approved alternative sweeteners by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA in the USA are:
  • Acesulfame potassium (Sunett, Sweet One)
  • Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet)
  • Neotame
  • Saccharin (SugarTwin, Sweet'N Low)
  • Sucralose (Splenda)
Today I am going to highlight aspartame since it is the artificial sweetener used in Diet Coke and many many other products. There was a study done back in the 80's concerning aspartame and its effect on lab rats.  This Exert is taken from the FDA website here from the FDA Statement on  the European Aspartame Study.

"Aspartame was first approved in the United States in 1981 and is one of the most widely used artificial sweeteners. When metabolized by the body, aspartame is broken down into two common amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, and a third substance, methanol. These three substances are available in similar or greater amounts from eating common foods."

Basically the FDA ruled that the study conducted in Europe showing rats exposed to aspartame developed bladder cancer was highly flawed and inaccurate. Now I've read this for myself. I am not into big government cover-ups or scare tactics. I challenge you to investigate this and think critically for yourself.  But lets look at the by products of aspartame when its is metabolized in the body.

  • Phenylalanine-  An amino acid found in the brain. Persons with the genetic disorder phenylketonuria (PKU) cannot metabolize phenylalanine leading to excess pheylalanine in the brain and can be lethal 

  • Methanol- Also called wood alcohol which is a poison and it breaks down in the body to formaldehyde you the know the liquid your frog was kept in to preserve for dissection in Biology 101.
I don't know about you, but these are not things I want in my body. The FDA made light of these chemicals and even though they stated that these are found in "common foods." I assure you they are not foods I'm eating these days. 

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