You must be curious about the dangers of diet soda after reading Why Soda Is Bad.
During my 80 pound weight loss, I was under the impression that fewer calories was the answer to my weight loss prayers. It wasn't until very recently that I realized it was doing something horrible to my body (read on to find out what that was).
While on the surface diet soda may seem like a guilt-free drink, upon further investigation you'll find it's no better than regular soda.
Why You Should Say No To Diet Soda
It's Not All About Calories
Sure diet soda has less calories, but a snag of calorie counting is people fixate on the numbers and often lose site of eating quality foods. Low fat foods are the perfect example. They're highly processed foods with tons of additives, have added sugar and are low calorie.
But diet soda's different, right? No...
Diet soda is highly processed, contains a chemical form of sugar (and we all know what sugar does to the body) and is low calorie. Sound familiar? Studies are now indicating diet soda may cause weight gain because it has the same metabolic effect regular soda has on the body.
At the end of the day, calories are meaningless when you're not eating real food. [Source]
There is ZERO nutrition in diet soda.
Let's look at the ingredients. Carbonated water. Caramel color. Aspartame. Phosphoric acid. Potassium Citrate. Natural Flavors. Citric Acid. Caffeine.
We know from our last discussion phosphoric acid cleans the rust off your tools and damages your bones. But the real dog in the fight is aspartame.
Aspartame contains phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol. Phenylalanine is an amino acid found in the brain. Consuming too much of it interferes with normal brain development. Aspartic acid is shown to cause chronic neurological disorders, and methanol is highly toxic, used as anti-freeze solvent and fuel. Yum! [Source]
But The FDA Approved It
If it's bad for you, then the FDA wouldn't approve it. Not true. Government officials are constantly bribed to approve foods. Aspartame is a good example of that.
“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.
“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. 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. Despite recognizing ninety-two different symptoms that result from ingesting aspartame, the FDA approved it for use, without restriction in 1996. [Source]
My Experience With Diet Soda
I mentioned earlier I recently gave up diet soda. I'd been drinking it with my lunch for years. After eating, I would get a headache and feel very fatigued. It got to the point where I didn't want to eat because I knew it would make me sick. What I didn't realize was the diet soda was making me sick. As soon as I eliminated it, my symptoms disappeared.
Is Diet Soda Good For You?
Artificial sweeteners are not real food. They're chemicals that trick your body, and those chemicals are addictive which is why we love them.
I don't care how skinny you are, how many miles you run a day or how much weight you lift. The way your body looks on the outside doesn't matter if the inside of your body is damaged. Imagine if you could see inside your body all day, everyday. Your food choices might be very different.
I'm not telling you to give up diet soda rather suggesting you make educated choices, and if you're not feeling well, keep your food choices in mind as potential culprits.