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The Great Myths About Diet Soda

Since the 1970s and 1980s, diet soda has been heralded as a safe alternative to regular pop and one that prevents weight gain. A huge number of people have been taken in by these myths. It is clear that this is what they are; myths.

Diet soda and weight gain

One of the biggest reasons people have switched to diet soda is the belief that it will help them keep from adding extra inches of fat. Does it really?

Studies have been done that show that people who drink diet sodas over a nine year period of time have an average two-inch increase in their waistline as compared to people who drink regular soda. Those who drink two or more diet sodas per day have a correspondingly higher increase in weight and body fat; as much as five times higher than people who don’t drink diet soda. The suggestion is also that most of the body fat is centered around the waist and belly.

Clearly, it isn’t just the sugar that causes weight gain.

Diet pop and safety

The main sweetener used in diet pop is aspartame. As it turns out, this is a particularly nasty substance. Shockingly, 75% of reactions to food additives that are reported to the FDA each year are directly related to aspartame. Consider for a moment how many food additives are on the market and the wide range of foods they are found in. Yet, three-fourths of the bad reactions to the additives come from reactions to aspartame.

The documented reactions that are caused by aspartame include, but aren’t limited to: Anxiety attacks, breathing problems, depression, dizziness and vertigo, difficulty in concentrating, fatigue, headaches (including migraine), hearing difficulty, irritability, insomnia, loss of hearing, loss of taste, memory difficulties, muscle spasms and cramps, nausea, numbness in the body, pain in the joints, rapid heartbeat or palpitations, seizures, and vision difficulties, as well as weight gain.

Medical research also indicates that aspartame can trigger brain tumors, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, diabetes, MS, and cancer of the lymph glands, or make these conditions worse if they are pre-existing.

Several leading doctors and researchers have tried to get the FDA to ban aspartame in diet soda, but they’ve been ignored. This is somewhat suspect because of the money involved.

In fact, Searle Pharmaceuticals and the NutraSweet Company are owned by Monsanto. NutraSweet is one brand name for aspartame. Monsanto is better known for the testing, research, and release of GMO’s.

Further, one of the main active ingredients in aspartame is aspartic acid. This substance is extremely similar to glutamic acid found in monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is no longer used in the amounts it was only a few decades ago, in the US. The use of MSG has dwindled primarily because of the adverse reactions to it.

As if this wasn’t enough, aspartame also contains methanol. Methanol, or wood alcohol, is listed as a deadly poison, yet a tenth of aspartame is methanol. This isn’t the best substance a person could think of for consumption unless they have a death wish.

The bottom line is that diet soda is far from being safe and it is very likely to cause weight gain, at the very least. The myth continues, however, spurred by big money.


What do you think?

Written by Rex Trulove


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  1. I drink diet soda almost daily…could be 12 ounces up to 1 liter. I should just drink my diet tea instead (doesn’t have aspartame). Maybe next month I’ll make it a goal to start cutting back till I can get off of them completely.

    • To my knowledge, all tea is diet, @MommyofEli2013. It is the sweetener that is put into it that has calories. Well, that’s not quite true. A cup of tea has 2 whole calories. A cup of tea, sweetened with sugar has 47. That one is simple, though…sweeten it with stevia, which is safe and contains 0 calories.

      Please do cut down and finally give up on the diet soda, though. I ask this because I honestly care.

      • Sweet tea has a lot of sugar for sure. I get a gallon of sugar free sweet tea at Walmart and I think it’s sweetened with Sucralose. Still not the best, but it’s better than the diet soda. I am not the biggest fan of stevia unfortunately.

        Giving up the soda is going to be hard; not the caffeine withdraw because the caffeine doesn’t affect me like others…but it’s a delicious tasting drink.

        • Stevia is an acquired taste for many people. We started using it because I did quite a bit of baking for people who are diabetic. Before long, I got used to it, so I don’t mind it. I strictly use Stevia In The Raw, though. Stevia is 100 times sweeter than sugar, so if it isn’t processed and mixed properly, it tends to be bitter. The same thing happens if a person wants a slight mint taste to their tea and puts a full teaspoon of extract in a glassful. Yuck. I’d much rather go out and pick a few mint leaves, put them in a tea ball, and put them into the jug when I make solar tea. The cost is right, too. It costs me about five cents per gallon. (I buy tea bags by the hundred-count.)

          • Yes it is, I have used it and I don’t mind it in certain things. I am sure I’ll get used to it too. I think Stevia in the raw has maltodextrin though which is a higher GI than regular sugar. Its a good product, I just can’t use it because of insulin resistance. I buy those tea bags too, just rather the premade because its easier. That’s true too…extract can be strong. I’ve never tried that though.

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