The Case Against Diet Soda (And Aspartame... And Splenda.. And....) - A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss

The Case Against Diet Soda (And Aspartame… And Splenda.. And….)

sugar-packets

The interesting thing about reading the responses to The Case Against Soft Drinks, was the number of people who admitted “Well, I don’t drink that mess… I drink diet soda!”

And just then, the record (or CD …or MP3) skipped.

I get it. People who believe that the primary concern is calories… will drink a diet pop because the calorie count is low. (In fact, in some cases, it’s literally zero calories.) But clean eaters know better. Clean eaters know a few things about this mentality:

First, if you’re going to enjoy a zero calorie drink, it had better be water.

Secondly, a drink that has color and sweet sugary taste, but zero calories? That’s a highly processed product. No bueno.

Next, if it has no vitamins or minerals in it, it’s not worth my time ingesting it. Getting the most bang for our nutritional buck, here.

Lastly, if it has high fruc–

Uh, not so fast, Erika! Diet soft drinks don’t have high fructose corn syrup in them!

No, you’re absolutely right. It doesn’t have HFCS in it. It has aspartame in it. Ooooh, that’s so much better.

I’m not even going to go in on this. Someone already did:

“When aspartame was put before the FDA for approval, it was denied eight times. G.D. Searle, founder of aspartame, tried to get FDA approval in 1973. Clearly, he wasn’t bothered by reports from neuroscientist Dr. John Olney and researcher Ann Reynolds (hired by Searle himself) that aspartame was dangerous. Dr. Martha Freeman, a scientist from the FDA division of Metabolic and Endocrine Drug Products, declared, “The information submitted for review is inadequate to permit a scientific evaluation of clinical safety.” Freeman recommended that until the safety of aspartame was proven, marketing the product should not be permitted. Alas, her recommendations were ignored. Somehow, in 1974, Searle got approval to use aspartame in dry foods. However, it wasn’t smooth sailing from there. In 1975, the FDA put together a task force to review Searle’s testing methods. Task force team leader Phillip Brodsky said he “had never seen anything as bad as Searle’s testing” and called the test’s results “manipulated.” Before aspartame actually made it into dry foods, Olney and attorney and consumer advocate Jim Turner filed objections against the approval.

“In 1977, the FDA asked the U.S. attorney’s office to start grand jury proceedings against Searle for “knowingly misrepresenting findings and concealing material facts and making false statements in aspartame safety tests.” Shortly after, the U.S. attorney leading the investigation against Searle was offered a job by the law firm that was representing Searle. Later that same year, he resigned as U.S. attorney and withdrew from the case, delaying the grand jury’s investigation. This caused the statute of limitations on the charges to run out, and the investigation was dropped. And he accepted the job with Searle’s law firm. Stunning.

“In 1980, a review by the Public Board of Inquiry set up by the FDA determined that aspartame should not be approved. The board said it had not been presented with proof of reasonable certainty that aspartame is safe for use as a food additive.” In 1981, new FDA Commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes was appointed. Despite the fact that three out of six scientists advised against approval, Hayes decided to overrule the scientific review panel and allow aspartame into limited dry goods. In 1983, he got it approved for beverages, even though the National Soft Drink Association urged the FDA to delay approval until further testing could be done. That same year, Hayes left the FDA amid charges of impropriety. The Internal Department of Health and Human services was investigating Hayes for accepting gratuities from FDA-regulated companies. He went to work as a consultant for Searle’s public relations firm. Interesting. The FDA finally urged Congress to prosecute Searle for giving the government false or incomplete test results on aspartame. However, the two government attorneys assigned to the case decided not to prosecute. Later, they went to work for the law firm that represented Searle. Fascinating. Despite recognizing ninety-two different symptoms that result from ingesting aspartame, the FDA approved it for use, without restriction in 1996. Brilliant.

[…]

“Nutrasweet and Equal contain aspartame. When ingested, one of aspartame’s ingredients, methyl alcohol, converts into formaldehyde, a deadly neurotoxin. In addition to aspartame, Equal contains the amino acid phenylalanine. Phenylalanine occurs naturally in the brain. But high levels can increase the chance of seizures and lead to depression and schizophrenia. There is no lesser of the two evils. NutraSweet and Equal are both evil. Sweet and Low is no saint, either. It is an artificial sweetener that contains saccharin, a coal-tar compound.” [source]

I’m going to focus on three major issues, here.

For starters, this should lay to rest that philosophy of “If it were so bad for you, then the FDA wouldn’t have approved it.” The amount of trust we give our government officials would make sense if those positions weren’t held by people with their own humanity to contend with. Look at the instances of people who were bought off, paid off, pushed aside, ignored all to get this product approved.

Secondly, I’m a huge advocate of knowing what you’re eating – both the positive and negative information – before you eat it. If you didn’t know all of this about aspartame before you decided to make it a staple in your diet, is it time to reassess whether or not it belongs in your diet?

Thirdly, this is the issue with processed foods. They make use of chemicals used for other purposes in nature in order to create flavors and tastes in a fashion that would be much more costly if the actual foods themselves were used to make the product! You are introducing chemicals into your system… period.

“[Aspartame is a low-calorie sweetener made by joining two amino acids with an alcohol. It is approximately 180 times sweeter than sugar.] Some researchers claim to have linked aspartame to brain tumors and lymphoma, but the FDA insists that the sweetener is safe for humans. A list of complaints submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services includes headaches, dizziness, diarrhea, memory loss and mood changes. The Center for Science in the Public Interest states that children should avoid drinks sweetened with aspartame.” [source]

Think about it – a chemical was created to cause the brain to react to it in the same way as sugar. Many people – many people - claim they experience withdrawals when they take a break from products containing aspartame. The only other instance I can think of where a person is willfully introducing a mind-altering chemical into their system… definitely causes withdrawal symptoms when people break from it. I’m sure you’re familiar with heroin… cocaine… meth… I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point.

And since I’m ticking everyone off? Let’s talk about Splenda.

Knowing what we know about the 40-some-odd years of aspartame’s existence, splenda (made of sucralose), has an equally young past. One more quote:

Because we’re having so much fun, lets bash the shit out of Splenda, one of the newer sweeteners. Splenda is made by chlorinated sugar, changing its molecular structure. The finished product is called sucralose. The makers of this poison tout its lack of calories and claim it’s safe for diabetics. The FDA calls sucralose 98 percent pure. The other 2 percent contains small amounts of heavy metals, methanol, and arsenic. Well gee, at least it doesn’t have any calories. So what if it has a little arsenic? Sucralose has been found to cause diarrhea; organ, genetic, immune system, and reproductive damage; swelling of the liver and kidneys: and a decrease in fetal body weight. What a splendid product! [source]

Really, I’m over it. All those little diet dishes that are “sweet” thanks to this stuff? I’m over those, too. I have a family history of cancer… what do I look like putting known cancer-causing agents (also known as carcinogens) in my body? No thanks.

These sweeteners are not food. They are chemicals meant to trick your body into thinking they are something they aren’t. I don’t know how many different times, in how many different ways I can say this, but it goes as follows:

I don’t care how many miles you run each day, how many pounds of weight you lift or how chiseled your muscles are. You cannot live a fully healthy life if you ingest chemicals to survive. You are cheating your insides – screw what you look like on the outside – if you don’t care for them as much as you care for your abs, your booty, your legs or whatever else you adore. Period.

Believe it or not, I don’t share this stuff with the intention of telling anyone to give it up. We all (hopefully) have reasons for making the decisions we make. My point in sharing this information is so that we can, again, make educated decisions about the food choices we make. Clean eating is simple. Easy. The foods are of the Earth, I’m of the Earth, this is a win. When we introduce outside substances to our diet, our bodies deserve the twenty minutes it might take to hit up your favorite wellness-promoting website and do a search. It’s seriously not that hard.

I will say this, though: I’m a firm believer in the philosophy that says “those who know better, constantly strive to do better.” Just a thought.

The proud leader of the #bgg2wlarmy, Erika Nicole Kendall writes health, fitness, nutrition, body image and beauty, and more here at #bgg2wl. After losing over 150lbs, Kendall became a personal trainer certified in fitness nutrition, women's fitness, and weight loss from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She now lives in New York with her family, and is working on her 4th, 5th and 6th certificates.

69 Comments

  1. JoAnna

    July 15, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    I don’t drink or eat diet foods. I don’t like the aftertaste. It amazes me how many people try to give me that nasty stuff because I’m diabetic. I tell them I eat plain sugar, honey, and maple syrup. I just eat a lot less of it and make it worth the indulgence.

    I baked some adult devil’s food mini-bundt cakes for a friend and saved one for my doctor this week who swears by that nasty diet chocolate jello mousse. I told him to first have a spoon of his mousse, a sip of water, then have a bite of the cake. After he demolished it, he asked me how I lost as much weight as I did if I could bake like that. Told him “Moderation, my dear doctor. I want to get off these meds, and not exchange them for another daily prescription because the “splenda/equal” chemicals have further upset my hormonal balance.”

    You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Ain’t happenin’! But you can have a really scrumptious cake ever so often that is worth the wait.

    • Erika

      July 15, 2010 at 10:35 AM

      YES!!!!! *does the touchdown dance all across my loft*

      YESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!

      (This also furthers my understanding of how little doctors know about nutrition, but that’s a rant I will never be posting on this site, LOL.)

    • Erika

      July 15, 2010 at 10:37 AM

      This is so freaking beautiful that I have to save it for another post.

      “It amazes me how many people try to give me that nasty stuff because I’m diabetic. I tell them I eat plain sugar, honey, and maple syrup. I just eat a lot less of it and make it worth the indulgence.

      I love every bit of this. This is the POINT of this site. It took me a whole YEAR to come around to a solid healthy understanding of this. Kudos to you – a comment so nice, I had to respond twice. LOLOL

    • LaShanda Glover

      February 6, 2011 at 9:57 PM

      I definitely agree with your points about this “diet” stuff. It took me years to realize that although the diet pop didn’t contain any calories it was not helping my weight loss goals. I finally gave it up after watching an episode of the reality show- “Ruby” she is working on losing weight and her doctors told her to stop drinking diet pop and I gave it up to. I was finally able to lose those “last 10 pounds” and I haven’t looked back!

    • Lee

      April 7, 2011 at 11:17 AM

      You better PREACH!

  2. Nathalie

    July 15, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    I’m curious to hear your thoughts on Stevia… I’ve started using more natural sugars as of late and substituted Stevia for my Equal/Splenda addiction. My mother absolutely cannot have sugar even in small amounts as it really just doesn’t agree with her system so Stevia was suggested as an alternative. I haven’t heard nearly the same negative press about it as it’s derived from a plant…

    • Erika

      July 15, 2010 at 1:44 PM

      Stay tuned. :)

      • FelicityR

        November 15, 2012 at 12:39 PM

        I am also looking forward to the answer to this question…

  3. Ty

    July 15, 2010 at 2:57 PM

    Look deeper into this. Some high people in high places pushed this. Aspartame hinders the ability to think clearly. Pilots aren’t allowed to drink it for that reason. Look at flouride also. It’s been proven to lower the IQ in children. It does nothing for teeth.

    • Erika

      July 15, 2010 at 3:23 PM

      So many questions I want to ask, but looking at your e-mail address, lol…

      That sounds like something worth digging into. Thanks for dropping the hint. :)

    • 313QT

      January 6, 2011 at 1:25 PM

      so true about the flouride! check out the movie “The Beautiful Truth” on you tube! it will open your eyes asap about this food industry and how they mass produce food like its a ford plant! After this I went through all of my cabinets and the fridge and was so amazed how all these cancer man made products (hence MAN MADE) are killing us and they know it! I bagged all thaqt crap up and took it right back to Meijers, got my money back and bought all healthy stuff! it took me about 3hrs to grocery shop that day b/c I had my notes of what to look for so reading and shopping for better items took awhile!

      so basically id I cant kill it, grow it, or preserve it I do not eat it! Nor if I cant pronounce the ingredients! As for the floruide in water I am about topurchase me a big berky water system. this thing even cleans and purifies swamp water and is used when natural disasters strike! Flouride does harmful things to the brain! that why Hitler used flouride for control of the people in Germany! to dumb them down and have no emoitons so that they wouldnt give a hoot about what he was doing to them!

      Sorry for the long post but Im just so passionate about this and my health!

  4. Rita

    July 15, 2010 at 6:47 PM

    Through this site I was introduced to clean eating and since I wanted to know what I was getting into I did my research. After days of articles, blogs and videos I read a lot of the stuff you mention in your article. Let me just say, knowledge is power! I stay way from the stuff and will now even eliminate my consumption of table sugar…no more sweet tea!!!

    The best piece of advice I’ve read to date “if you didn’t make it, why eat it”. Guess that should apply to beverages too.

    Thanks Erika for another great entry.

  5. Rhemma

    July 15, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    Thanks for this! I’ve heard some about aspartame and convinced my mom to stop drinking diet pops and she already sees the difference!

  6. Ladi Ohm

    July 15, 2010 at 10:37 PM

    I was a certifiable splenda addict, and I cut it out of my diet about a month ago. Its been pretty difficult since I love coffee and tea, but I’ve started drinking my coffee black because I’ve recently adopted a ‘if I can pronounce the ingredients, I can’t eat it’ philosophy…. welp, that goes for flavored coffee creamer too. I do put a little honey in nightly cup of tea, though.

  7. Tara Woodruff

    July 16, 2010 at 12:28 AM

    Oh how do I love that you wrote this entry! FANTASTIC! I just recently quit aspartame a few months ago and am soo happy I did!
    KEEP your wisdom coming!

  8. Queen B

    July 17, 2010 at 6:44 PM

    This was very informative. All thru HS I would drink diet soda to maintain my weight (which now looking back was body image issues)and all my black friends would look at me like I was nuts. Then I started getting migraines, crazy cravings and felt tired all the time. So I started drinking water to see if my diet was the reason for my ailments and eventually narrowed it down to the diet soda. Most recently I realized these toxins are also in crystal lite-like water flavorers–I use to drink these all the time! We really have to scrutinize what we consume.

  9. Queen B

    July 17, 2010 at 6:47 PM

    I also agree water is the best form of hydration. Every once of our body benefits from water.

  10. Zuly

    August 4, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    Wow. I’ve never been to this site before but someone on my timeline RT it on Twitter and I had to come look. After reading this post, I think I love you!!!! I’ve been saying these things for so long, I’m happy I’m not the only one. Great job.

  11. lq

    August 19, 2010 at 10:17 PM

    Splenda/sucralose is also a common migraine trigger.

    I couldn’t figure out why I was getting headaches after eating “healthy” lowfat yogurt and microwave kettle corn … that was why. Neither of them are advertised as “low sugar” or “sugar free.” It’s hidden in all kinds of things, especially “low calorie” things. I’ve switched to Greek yogurt and plain popcorn (you can flavor it however you want).

    And there is evidence (that I didn’t see mentioned, but I might’ve missed because it’s been a bad day) that eating these sweet-without-sugar things confuses your brain and causes you to overeat later.

    No thanks!

  12. Yvette

    January 3, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    I just tossed all 6 variety of flavors and told the kids we will never have those again. Wow is all I can say. Thanks for this information.

  13. LISA

    January 11, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    Please keep your wisdom coming I used to love diet coke,but its just like regular soda not good for you

  14. Lynne

    January 22, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    They say what comes from the heart, goes to the heart. I don’t have to be a scientist to realize what you’re saying is true, it just speaks to my heart like, “yes, this is the piece that has been missing in your journey for so long”. I’ve known it all along, that until I face the truth about my eating, I’ll continue to be a hamster on a wheel.

    I would get crazy headaches after I drank diet coke, until one day I looked up aspartame on the web and was blown away. My body let me know it wasn’t good for me, that was really enough.

  15. Vanessa

    February 6, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    Thanks for sharing trashing my splenda asap!

  16. David A. Miller

    March 21, 2011 at 8:37 AM

    Another great article Erika. I recommend Stevia, a natural calorie free sugar or Xylitol and Erythritol, both all natural sugar alcohols and both calorie free as alternatives to regular sugar to my clients. Brand names that can be found are Sweet Leaf(Stevia), Truvia and PureVia(Stevia/Erythritol blend), IDEAL and XyloSweet(Xylitol)

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      March 21, 2011 at 8:50 AM

      Neither xylitol nor erythritol are “all natural.” Sorry.

      And though stevia – in leaf form – can be used as a sweetener (I don’t know… I won’t be using it), truvia and purevia are two things I won’t be recommending any time soon.

      • Aida

        September 8, 2013 at 11:25 AM

        Hi Erika!

        Have you found any reliable information around the use of cane sugar as a natural sweetner?

        • Erika Nicole Kendall

          September 8, 2013 at 4:47 PM

          Sugar is sugar is sugar, but if you want to go as unprocessed as possible, go towards your natural brown sugars – muscovado, demerara, and sucanat. I’m in the middle of a move so I can’t whip out my books like I’d like, but that’s the quick and dirty of it all.

  17. Melissa

    March 21, 2011 at 9:09 AM

    I love that you are posting on ‘fake’ diet foods and supplements and how they are actually unclean because of all the chemical processing. Can you possibly (if you haven’t done so already) do something on medications? I suffer from PMDD and the number one thing doctors prescribe for it is Paxil. I’m trying to manage my condition naturally… through diet, exercise and relaxation techniques. Can you weigh in on antidepressants, birth control, HRT and what not? I think drugs are of a big concern for women who are pre-, peri- and post menopausal.

  18. Melissa

    March 21, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    Oh, and I love that you say ‘pop’! We say pop in Pennsylvania… when I moved to Florida everybody gave me ish cuz I didn’t say ‘soda’ :(

    • Pitch

      June 21, 2011 at 8:31 PM

      Hah, here in the midwest everything is a “Coke”. Even if it’s a clear fizzy drink.

  19. Aïsha M

    March 21, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    Thank you so much for writing this Erika. I don’t even know what to add in my commentary – I agree with everything you’ve said. I didn’t know suh specific information was available regarding the risks of ingesting low calorie chemical sweeteners… I just always knew that they weren’t natural and had no business being in my body. They are addictive, mind altering & an absolute perversion of food. Eating these sweeteners leaves you unable to recognize natural sweetness from beets, collard greens, yam, corn and basil. I never want to mutilate my tastebuds in such a way that I cannot taste these sweet super foods in their natural, unseasoned state. Thank you for urging us to make informed decisions about the things we put in our bodies

  20. Netherland

    May 14, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    I wrote about this very same thing about a year ago, on this site, and I was told by another subscriber to this site to “watch myself” because I could be sued my the makers of Aspartame, because there was a possibility that I did not know what I was talking about! LMBO! ROTF! Bottom line is you want to be healthy, and I just don’t healthy in anything “ARTIFICIAL”, like ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS. Stick to the pure cane sugar, or other natural derivatives!I had aspartame poisoning, yet I didn’t know what I was talking about!!! Anyway, I’m glad I have someone else backing me up! It’s best to just decide to use sugar, or not use it, or find other sweeteners, like Coconut sugar; it’s $10.00 a can, but it is the sugar recommended for diabetics. However, many natural sweeteners have just as many calories as regular sugar, it’s the glycemic index you need to look at. The only small problem is that many other natural sweeteners change the flavor of your food or beverage, to something you may not be accustomed to. The best sweetener for you is “BLACK STRAP MOLASSES”. It has a low caloric level, and it contains 600mg of POTASSIUM and 11mg of salt. Potassium is an electrolyte, and you need electrolytes to keep your heart beating. ELECTROLYTES = Salts, sugars and potassium. Bottom line is you want to be healthy, and I just don’t healthy in anything ARTIFICIAL, like ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS. Stick to the pure cane sugar, or other natural derivatives! :D

  21. Marion@affectionforfitness

    May 25, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    I love your blog, but I think you’re missing the worst thing about diet soda–the acid that goes directly on your teeth. Dentists call all soda, including diet soda–“Drano for teeth.” Pop permanently erodes the enamel right off your teeth. The Coke formula, when in concentrate, is labeled “corrosive.” I saw this on a Coke documentary. Do you still want to be sexy and have your teeth when you’re 90? Stop drinking Drano!!!

    :-) Marion (a former soda guzzler)

  22. CeCe

    May 31, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    Thank you for this article. I recently decided to cut calories in my coffee with splenda and I believe it made me very “jumpy” and “jittery”. I’m mad I spent the money on it, but I had a very quick reaction to it. I hate aspertame and saccharin and knew there were problems with those too. I guess I should have known splenda wouldn’t be much better.
    Also, thank you for this blog! I am very inspired by your weight loss and clean eating. I have a lot of weight to lose and have started the weight watchers program. I can already see that I need to pay more attention to what I’m eating and not JUST the point values, but the health values.

  23. Roz Watkins

    June 3, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Great article! I looked into the whole aspartame thing recently and was horrified to read the story around how it got FDA approval. I got interested after a few of my clients mentioned that they had been suffering from MS-type symptoms which disappeared when they gave up diet drinks. I know this is anecdotal but it prompted me to look into it and it seems that these symptoms were even known to the FDA.
    Thank you for raising awareness of this and the other atrocities of the “diet food” industry.

  24. Danielle

    June 4, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    I know I’ve been saying this for a while, but dang Erika you are on a roll with these great posts!!

  25. LaDonna

    July 14, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    What is your suggestion in sweeting green tea. I drink the loose tea. I buy it from a framer’s market. Anyone whose had the bagged stuff and then green tea leaves learns immediately that there is a definite difference in flavor and potenance. Its a strong flavor. But it helps my digestion. So…is sugar in a raw a better option?

  26. eclectikchic

    September 6, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    Interesting post…I have been using raw sugar and it is something to get used to.

  27. Johnnie

    September 8, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    This is why I only drink water!

  28. Tachae

    October 22, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    I found out about this my last year of high-school. It took me back to a conversation I had in sophmore year about high fructose corn syrup, and my friend, who was overweight, tried to tell me that ish was FINE as long as it was in moderation. Fair to say I’ve dropped 30 pounds, and she…………..yeah.

    Anyway, I also wanted to add that it is also very worth it to eat as much organic things as possible. I found a site that goes in on a company called MASANTO, look them up!!! They sell genetically modified seeds so most of those “healthy” vegetables in big chain stores …..are super tainted. Don’t believe me? Google “the case against masanto”. It’s like this country does EVERYTHING in it’s power to make sire we get ill!!!!!

  29. Jules

    December 4, 2011 at 1:23 AM

    I am sitting here with an OMG face. I stopped shaking the Nutrasweet packs a few years back, and changed to Splenda. I later learned from my doctor that Splenda was “bleached sugar”. I changed to stevia, and earlier I read your post on Five things you Should Know About Sweetners and again yet another mouth drop moment. Stevia should be brown. Thank you for the information you are posting.

    I need to take heed: Listen to yourself – if you’re looking to run and hide from your feelings in a sweet treat, then it doesn’t matter what kind of sugar is in it. The problem isn’t the eating, it’s your coping mechanism, and it’s up to you to be honest with yourself about it.”

    Excerpted from Friday 5: Five Things You Should Know About Sweeteners | A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss

  30. Tess

    December 12, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    Stevia is the best natural sweetner….or agave nectar. U need very little of both

  31. Michelle

    January 5, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Thanks for posting this again. I appreciate it. I think I know the source of my recent flare-up of cluster headaches: splenda. Sigh…there goes my daily cup of coffee.

  32. anonymous

    January 8, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    just quoting a friend here

    “When ingested, one of aspartame’s ingredients, methyl alcohol, converts into formaldehyde, a deadly neurotoxin.”

    “ok big deal? alcohol metabolizes to acetaldehyde but you don’t see people saying the FDA should re enact the prohibition. formaldehyde is mainly dangerous if you inhale it, not ingest it. otherwise people who like pears would be in trouble! (pears contain 60mg/kg formaldehyde, which is also present naturally in apples, bananas, seafood, etc) also: your own body makes it anyway as part of the digestive process. a lot of the way chemicals are processed by your body depends on the method of arrival. (as well as the quantity)”

    what do you have to say about this?

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      January 8, 2012 at 11:48 AM

      First, I’d say use your real name next time – there’s nothing to hide from around here, even if “your friend” is you. :)

      Secondly, I’d say that the argument that “the body naturally produces this anyway!” is the same argument behind why food processors are using countless chemicals to “get us hooked” on their foods. “Your friend” says “a lot of the way chemicals are processed by your body depends on the method of arrival.” Don’t forget that “the method of arrival” ALSO includes “how it was created” and “what it is paired with.” “In a lab” with “not nary a single nutritive element” is not an acceptable comparison to “in nature” with “adequate nutritive value.” I trust a natural cycle much more than I trust a cycle created by people in white coats with big glasses and stockholders to please.

      I’m not trying to be dismissive of science and real scientific reason, but I am trying to make it clear – as history has already done before – that science doesn’t always know enough and until it does, I’ll stick with Mother Nature.

      • anonymous

        January 9, 2012 at 2:10 AM

        i’m sorry i’m having trouble understanding the importance/relevance of holding an anonymous title and quoting a friend, it’s my choice. So I’m not sure why you are being (for lack of a better term) derogatory using repetitive and unneeded quotations throughout your deduction. It’s rather quite silly~

        In any case thanks for your input regarding the subject at hand.

        • Erika Nicole Kendall

          January 9, 2012 at 6:48 AM

          ROFL This is the Internet. Anonymity and credibility don’t mix. It’s silly to forget that.

          And you’re right – “derogatory” is a bad term, because I certainly wasn’t being such.

  33. Mary

    January 10, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Aspartame was used as rat/mouse poison. Ever since I read that I never eat or drink anything with that in it! I don’t remember where I read this but it was a trustworthy, reliable, medical or public interest source. Also, for a science project in 8th grade, I submerged some teeth in different liquids for different periods of time. Coca cola/Pepsi did indeed damage the tooth enamel significantly – but it didn’t dissolve it, at least in the time frames I used. Lemon juice also damaged tooth enamel significantly as well. This was straight 100%, in for hours, though, so it would not be real life (well unless you like to suck on lemons/ limes all the day). Anyway, one is natural and one is a scientific concoction meant to taste good. One with an ingedient that kills rats and mice. In unscientific terms: blech!

  34. Leshelle

    January 25, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    I just started a sugar detox program yesterday but on week 3 because I already don’t eat High frutose corn syrup (week 1) and I already eat whole wheat instead of white, but the thing I was worried about was the splenda and my fat free flavored creamer. I knew I needed to give these last two things up but didn’t know how. Well after reading this article, I have listed unopen bottles of creamer, big box of splenda to anyone that wants it on facebook. I am done. Thank you.

  35. Vee

    February 2, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    *raising hand* I am die-hard fan of diet sodas especially Diet Coke/Diet Mt Dew. I don’t notice an after taste because I have been drinking them for so long.

    I have cut back on drinking them . I will have coffee LOL I have got to have something LOL.

  36. Sami

    July 3, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Thank you for this information. I’m slowly weaning myself off of Splenda and artificial sweetners. I only have it on my nightly tea and morning coffee. I used to put it in everything. For my nightly tea, I will start using honey. What about my morning coffee? Do you have any suggestions for that? I only drink one cup a day versus four cups before. Slowly, but surely improving my ways. This site helps a lot. Thanks :)

  37. Echidiime

    July 16, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    Started actively trying to lose weight recently because I went for a physical after having not gone to the doctor since undergrad (five years ago). Found out that I gained twenty pounds and was now in the overweight BMI category. There are a number of things I can blame for this, but after doing some research on this site and others, I think one of the major reasons was Splenda. We used it at my parent’s place because my parent’s were diabetic. However, I noticed that for the past several years I would go on sweetness binges – I would crave really sweet things – even replace my meals with sweet deserts. In the past, I would abstain from these things because they were just too painfully sweet. But I think Splenda up’ed my sweetness tolerance. I wasn’t worried about the cancer link, because I felt that just about anything, in the right amounts, can cause cancer. I felt my risk of dying from heart disease/diabetes was higher than cancer – so I erroneously thought that artificial sweeteners were the “healthier” choice.

    Trying to wean myself off of Splenda now and I noticed that when I use real sugar (like in coffee), it tastes bitter because my palate is used to the super sweet Splenda. I think the health establishment is now saying that people should use artificial sweeteners like a nicotine patch – so as to wean themselves off of highly refined sugars. But I feel like I need regular sugar to wean myself off of artificial sweeteners and other sweets.

    But yeah, I’m happy that this information is starting to get

  38. J. Wilson

    August 30, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    I was never into fake sweeteners. I’m pretty certain that I saw a warning on Sweet and Low years ago that stated, “causes cancer in laboratory animals.” That was enough for me. I don’t look at the packaging now but I don’t think I made up that memory.
    Almost daily, I use this site and other resources to improve my health.Over the past week and a half, I watched The Weight of the Nation at http://www.theweightofthenation.hbo.com which shows how food companies always push back against any attempt to make them accountable to the public. It also shows how the government subsidizes corn and soy farmers but don’t give incentives to those who grow fresh fruits and vegetables, much less organic ones. I’m realizing more and more that I can not expect anyone to make changes that will improve my health, especially when it is not in their best ($$$$) interest.
    I’m down 10lbs so far and I feel more alert than I have this entire year. For anyone who is struggling with improving their health, take it one day at a time and do not, DO NOT, debate with yourself about what you need to do to make changes. You’ll lose the argument. Lastly, like Erika wrote in another post, practice self compassion. Practice it every moment of every day.

  39. CJ

    August 30, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    No more diet soda for me

  40. EVELYN

    September 6, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    OH MY GOD ! …..I’M SO HOOKED ON DIET COKE !?!?!?!!? I WAS UP TO 271 POUNDS AND HAVE BEEN LOSING FOR SOME TIME NOW AND I’M DOWN TO 150. WHICH WAS MY GOAL FROM THE START , I CHANGED EVERYTHING IN MY FOOD INTAKE…..BUT DIET COKE , I JUST CANT LET GO………………THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THE INFOR. ….EVELYN

    • junglebabe

      January 13, 2013 at 10:12 PM

      last time i looked at the grocery store, truvia has some other ingredient ending in ose added to the stevia. you can buy plain stevia at a health food store.

  41. Tara Howes

    February 11, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    You know when you read some info that you sortof knew already but it is that light bulb moment. this post was that for me. thanks, I really appreciate what your doing here. I have thrown away the diet crap I had in the house. OHH and the splenda I put in my coffee because i am a sucker and really thought it was better! ha
    So a clean eating family is where we are headed!
    Thank you!

  42. skinnymimi

    February 18, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    WOW! This is an eye opener. I am a die hard Splenda fan. I mean DIE HARD! I can walk away from it but can someone give me a safe “sugar alternative”? I have a cup of coffee every morning with Splenda in it. Any suggestions would be awesome!

  43. Kim Northern

    February 18, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Thank you for this information. I did not know any of this about these produts. I am working on a healthier lifestyle and I use splenda and drink an occational diet pop. Now that I have read this information and done some reaserch on my own I won’t be!!!! I will stick with my water!!

  44. Chelsea Stewart

    February 24, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Just want to say thank you. I’ve been struggling with this weight loss thing for many years and using Splenda on a daily basis. After reading this I’m definiteley going to give it up.

  45. Frankgme

    April 24, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    I’m a senior who has been taking a prescribed ant-depressant for over 20 years. Although it has been very beneficial in that it has relieved a characteristic biological deficiency that was discovered in my brain, the main drawback is that it has changed my appetite……more so, my taste buds. More specifically, as many anti-depressant do, dryness of mouth has become a predominant after effect and an increase craving for a beverage suddenly became overwhelming the moment I started on the medication. As a result, I have developed an insatiable thirst for pop and I’m consuming gallons of Coke Zero. And, it concerns me. So, after reading the proponents of what is brought to light here on this website and other like findings on the subject I have and must subscribe to making the best effort to refrain from the continuation of ingesting diet beverages. As I write this the personal household inventory of coke-a-cola and/or soda-pop beverages are going to be rid of………..and not by further drinking them away. From here on it’s water or natural orange juice that will be the substitute to my routine drinking behavior. So, thank you friends………at age 67, I hope to have added a credible number of years of life to myself with this determined intent.

  46. Shira

    April 25, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    I have never liked artificial sweetners. They are too sweet and leave an after taste. I am one of those people who experience the side affects. The few occasions that I have consumed them, I got severe headaches, dizziness and diarrhea. I use cane sugar, honey or maple syrup in my food and beverages and everyday I try to use a little less. I feel great! 95% of my liquid consumption is zero calorie water, 4% teas and the last 1% is for the rare occasions I drink something else such as milk or lemonade (w/o artificial sweetners).

    • Kim

      March 17, 2014 at 12:49 AM

      A great way to make natural lemonade is to juice organic red delicious apples and organic lemons together. Got this from the Juice Man when I bought his juicer. NO SUGAR OR SWEETENER NEEDED WHATSOEVER. Delicious!!!!

  47. Brenda Willis

    November 21, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    I drink a lot of diet coke products and I suffer from muscle problems and spasms. I want to file a law suit against Coke. They should have pulled these products off the market.

  48. Tess

    March 6, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    Are there any store drinks anyone can recommend that do not have Aspartame, splenda, stevia, or sucralose?

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      March 6, 2014 at 3:49 PM

      Making teas at home are pretty much your best bet, IMO. Oftentimes, the sugar is a problem. Or, worse, the other ingredients in the drink is the problem.

      • Tess

        March 6, 2014 at 5:02 PM

        Ugh there is no escape!

  49. Paula G

    December 18, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    I absolutely love this. I had an argument with a diet soda junkie at work over ‘artificial’ sweeteners and how they are chemicals… I’m going to email this to her. I have given up diet soda in April this year on my journey to a healthier me and I do not miss it one bit, not one craving for the chemicals because that is what your body is doing craving the addiction. I am so glad I found your blog, I shared it with quite a few of my fitness friends. There is so much to read on here I will have bedtime reading for a while!
    Thank you for sharing what you know!

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