Most people drink the diet version of sodas these days, mainly because it contains very few calories and they think that artificial sweeteners are healthier than soft drinks containing sugar. If you look at it technically, sugar is still derived from natural sources, while artificial sweeteners are manufactured chemicals. Which would be healthier to drink?
The two major artificial sweeteners; aspartame(Nutrasweet),and sucralose (Splenda) are used widely to replace sugar in diet drinks, aspartame being the most offensive of the two. Because aspartame cannot be broken down in the digestive tract, its toxins become deposited in body tissue, causing numerous symptoms which mimic other types of diseases and it very hard to detect with regular blood work.
Aspartame combined with methyl(methanol), plus two amino acids(phenylalanine and aspartic acid) have the ability to affect blood ratios and block levels of serotonin and adrenaline, etc., causing side effects ranging from neurological to psychological disorders, by affecting neurotransmitters in the brain. Tests with aspartame induced tumors in rats. The cumulative power of this combination can take up to six months to eliminate from the body. Because the two amino acids in isolation is very unbalances, in large doses become toxins.
Side effects of aspartame can be a gradual process, immediate reaction, or an acute one. People consuming 4-5 cans of diet sodas a day can have interrupted brain functions which manifest into side effects such as dizziness, degenerative eye problems, migraine headaches, seizures; to mood swings, irritability, anxiety, insomnia and depression. Recent findings are linking the use of aspartame to ever increasing cases of MS.
The American Diabetic Association has researched diet drinkers who consume 2 or more cans of diet sodas a day, for seven years, and has noted an increase of obesity by 57.1% while those who drank regular soft drinks had an increase of 47.2%. It is believed that artificial sweeteners stimulate appetite and a desire to eat more. Originally, aspartame was discovered as an ulcer drug, not a sweetener.
What’s new on the horizon? A new sweetener called “tagatose” is being touted as the new artificial sweetener. It tastes, looks, feels and performs like table sugar. It is a 100% naturally occurring sugar, found in dairy foods. It has yet to be approved by FDA and will take two years to be validated. This new product can pass through the digestive tract, without being absorbed. However, in large quantities, it can create gastrointestinal discomforts such as flatulence.
Another new creation is the New Diet Coke Plus, containing added vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B3,6,12, zinc, and magnesium, making up 15% DV (daily value) and 10% DV respectively of daily vitamin and mineral intake.The problem is carbonation and acidic levels of diet sodas will kill off any benefits from synthetic vitamins and minerals added. This appears to be a ruse to take the attention off the harmful effects of aspartame.
On the other hand, sucralose which has 50% more sweetness than aspartame is widely used in other processed foods besides diet drinks. The problem is a certain percentage of sucralose can be broken down in the body and absorbed. The U.S. claims 11-27% is absorbed while the Japanese claim 40% is being absorbed into the body. Even though manufacturers claim sucralose is 98% pure, the remaining 2% contains heavy metals (lead), arsenic, methanol, chlorinated disaccharide and monosaccharide, triphenilphosphine oxide which would be called chlorinated pesticides. Long term accumulation can cause immunological or neurological disorders.
Healthier alternatives to drinking soft drinks, regular or diet, would be milk, soy or rice milk, 100% fruit or vegetable juices, all without added sugars, sweeteners or artificial sweeteners. The best would be pure clean water, with a lemon or lime slice added, AND no added flavors, sugars or artificial sweeteners!
The word “healthier” should never be associated with soft drinks. It is ludicrous to replace one engineered product with another which is even more potent than the former, all in the name of counting calories and losing weight.