If you’re an individual who enjoys a soda, but only drinks diet sodas to avoid all the sugar found in regular ones, you’re actually doing substantial damage to your health.
This is because of a toxic substance, called aspartame, which soda companies use to sweeten their diet drinks sufficiently in the absence of sugar.
Health Implications of Aspartame Consumption
Health concerns regarding aspartame have been around for decades – it has been linked to headaches, dizziness, fatigue, weight gain and memory loss, among many other negative (and more serious) effects on human health.
For instance, a study conducted by researchers from Columbia University and the University of Miami found that the consumption of just a single diet soda per day over the course of 10 years increased the likelihood of heart disease and strokes by up to 43%.
Further evidence of the harmful effects of aspartame on human health was found by a study published in the Nature journal. It found that diet sodas changed the composition of microbes in the gut in such a way that the risk of the consumer developing diabetes was greatly increased.
Yet more evidence of just how harmful aspartame can be was produced by a study conducted at the University of Minnesota. Researchers at that institution found that a single diet soda per day raised the risk of developing metabolic syndrome by 36%.
Even more shocking is that although diet sodas are marketed in such a way as to appeal to individuals looking to maintain their weight or even lose a few pounds, the aspartame in them has actually been linked to obesity.
The University of Texas’ Health Science Center found that those who consumed just a single can of diet soda per day were at a 41% higher risk of becoming obese than those who did not. Over a 10-year period, those who consumed two cans of diet soda or more per day were found to be at a 500% increased of developing obesity.
Why Aspartame Is Still In Widespread Use
Despite all of the evidence showing that aspartame has an adverse effect on human health, institutions such as the US Food and Drug Administration continue to insist that aspartame is perfectly safe and there’s no reason for concern.
This is undoubtedly due to the enormous amount of influence that drinks companies such as Coca Cola and Pepsico wield in the marketplace. The diet soda market alone is worth billions of dollars per annum.
It appears that Pepsico may be caving in to consumer pressure, because it recently got rid of aspartame from Diet Pepsi, and replaced it with new artificial sweeteners acesulfame potassium and sucralose. The verdict is still out on whether this update is positive or negative, because some quarters have already voiced concerns about the health effects of these artificial sweeteners.
What to Do to Avoid Aspartame
If you like to enjoy a soda from time to time, the reality is that you’ll be better off going for the fully-sugared version of your favorite drink rather than the diet version.
The best thing you can do is avoid drinking sodas altogether, and satisfy your sweet tooth by drinking healthier alternatives such as fruit juices that are not made from concentrate (concentrated juices are just as full of sugar as sodas are).
Also try scoping out locally-made, artisanal fruit drinks and sodas (such as those pictured above), as there is a much higher likelihood of them being made with genuine care for the consumer.
Content Source: Newsmax