Artificial sweeteners have been in my life ever since I can remember. My grandma, a type two diabetic, had a bountiful selection of sweets and treats at her house, including sodas, all which were filled with sugar free substitutes like aspartame. They were thought of as the healthy alternative to sugary foods, but today are thought of as much worse than the original culprit. I'm not one to demonize particular foods, since I'm a big believer in moderation, but the side affects I began to experience was enough to convince me I needed to give up aspartame once and for all.
For my new years resolution, I vowed to give up artificial sweeteners. Long story short, that plan fell through right away. However, after reading Skinny Bitch I decided it was time to part with aspartame in particular. If you haven’t read this book yet, you should. My boyfriend is reading Skinny Bastard, their book geared towards men, which he says is both hilarious and informative, just like the original.
Just in case the information in this book doesn’t convince you 100%….
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Brief History of Aspartame
- Made in 1965, but not approved till 1980. Hmm… I'm not familiar with approval processes such as these, but that seems slightly suspicious.
- Aspartame is made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. The book “Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” by James and Phyllis Balch, lists aspartame under the category of “chemical poison.” (Mercola)
Side Affects of Aspartame
- headaches, migraines (some severe)
- severe depression
- atypical facial pain
- paresthesia or numbness of the limbs
- itching without a rash
- menstrual changes
- excessive thirst, fluid retention, leg swelling, and bloating
- etc.,etc., (it only gets worse)
I must admit I used to be a HUGE consumer of diet soda. I could easily guzzle 2-3 a day, not thinking anything of it. Now that I have dramatically cut my diet soda intake I no longer get weekly migraines and have realized just how sluggish the junk made me feel.
Now when I have a diet soda on the very rare occasion, I can literally taste the chemicals. It's amazing how our taste buds adapt and change once we move from chemical laden foods to whole foods.
These days, you can instead find me sipping on a Zevia or another stevia sweetened soda. Sure, those aren't perfect either, but it's a much better option than your standard diet soda. It's also a tad more expensive, so it keeps the amount I drink in check.
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Added sugar is dangerous, especially in the form of liquid beverages, since there is no way to tell just how much sugar is in it. If we added our own sugar to unsweetened beverages like tea and coffee, we can then be in control. Considering that sugar only has 15 calories per teaspoon, it really isn't going to make or break your health, but artificial sweeteners just might. The problem is, we don't yet know the long-term effects of these sugar substitutes. Our safest bet is to cut back on the processed 'food' that contains sugar and artificial sweeteners to begin with, and hope these chemicals will soon be a thing of the past.
When did you decide to give up diet soda? What do you drink now?