Serious Sunday: Why I Don’t Drink “Diet”

Image: Creative Commons, Taken by: Roadsidepictures on Flickr

I know what you are thinking.  “Jen, don’t you even go trying to take one of my biggest diet-friendly guilty pleasures away from me!”  I felt the same way, believe me.  Ever since sometime in middle or high school, I have been a HEAVY, and I do mean HEAVY diet soda drinker.  It was my main source of fluid for years… and even though it said “Diet” on the front, I never managed to lose weight.  (Of course, the other FOODS were a contributor to this, for sure!)  So, recently, I decided to do some research.  As I am making my lifestyle change, I am not only trying to lose weight, but also to get really HEALTHY!  Something I am not so sure I have ever been before.  What I found was scary.  I quit drinking diet sodas and tried to switch to water.  I relapsed! (Good gravy, addict terms?! Oh yes, I was for sure!)  However, I have finally gotten it fully out of my system and I feel so much better for having done it!
Let me give you some of the facts and you can make your own decisions.  We’re all big kids here, right?

  • “Aspartame is, by far, the most dangerous substance on the market that is added to foods.” – Dr. Mercola (Click to view his website)
  • It is known by NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal Measure.
  • “Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA.”
  • “According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, the following chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame: Brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, parkinson’s disease, alzheimer’s, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes.”
  • In Laymen’s terms, the ingredients in aspartame kill off neurons in your brain.
  • “A few of the many chronic illnesses that have been shown to be contributed to by long-term exposure to excitatory amino acid damage include:
    • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
    • ALS
    • Memory loss
    • Hormonal problems
    • Hearing loss
    • Epilepsy
    • Alzheimer’s disease
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Hypoglycemia
    • AIDS
    • Dementia
    • Brain lesions
    • Neuroendocrine disorders
  • Side effects as reported to the FDA include:
      • Headaches/migraines
      • Nausea
      • Abdominal pains
      • Fatigue (blocks sufficient glucose entry into brain)
      • Sleep problems
      • Vision problems
      • Anxiety attacks
      • Depression
      • Asthma/chest tightness”

Excuse my bullets gone wild up there.  All of this information has been pulled from Dr. Mercola’s website.  He is a doctor who is very passionate about the negative effects of aspartame.  You can click the quote on the first bullet to go to his site and get more information.

Giving up diet soda wasn’t easy for me, but the benefits are worth it.  I feel better, have less headaches (once I went through the withdrawal period) and save money!

I drink naturally flavored waters now, such as Hint water, which contains no sweeteners of any kind but still gives you a nice fruity flavor.  For those who love the fizz of soda, they also make fizzy waters!

Picture from the website.