Monday, January 23, 2012

that's pretty nasty.

Does that picture look delicious to you?! Well, if you knew exactly what it was doing in your body, it might look a little less delicious. I'll keep this short and simple and spare you of any chemical structures or  scary words like methyl esters (which aspartame is, by the way).

Why is diet soda bad for you?

I am not an expert with all the ingredients of diet sodas, but I know a fair amount of one. Aspartame. Heard of it? Probably. It's a nonnutritive sweetener. What does nonnutritive mean? Basically, there's no calories. Nothing. But how is it possible to have something that has NO CALORIES?! Can something exist with zero energy (any fellow science nerds out there?)? The reason aspartame has no calories is because our bodies recognize it as foreign and excrete it. It can cause headaches or gastric cramping because of this. In fact, it was invented (i think) in the 60s by a guy who was trying to develop a medication for ulcers.

Okay, so aside from it being foreign in our bodies, what else? Aspartame converts to formalydehyde in your body. What's that? It's the stuff the preserve dead bodies with. It smells plasticky and gross and is just all around nasty. toxic. gross gross gross. Obviously, not meant to be ingested.

Still not convinced? Next point. Your brain has sensors that can essentially "count" the calories you are consuming. Your body naturally knows when you've had enough, too much, or not enough calories (the problem is listening to it, but that could be a whole other can of worms!). So naturally, the body registers sweet foods/drinks as being high calorie. You can't fool your body for long though. It quickly adapts and realizes that sweet things don't give you any calories(or at least as much as your brain thought!). Meaning when you eat something sweet, your body doesn't "Register" the calories the same. People who eat aspartame and other fake sugars typically have more of a sweet tooth and can eat lots and lots of sweets and not feel full or satisfied and crave sweets often. Since aspartame is 180 times sweeter than glucose (simple sugars), it would make sense that if the brain doesn't think aspartame counts for any calories, glucose certainly wouldn't [more complicated, it sticks to the neurological receptors longer]. Through this, it's been strongly linked to diabetes and obesity. More research needs to be done to define it as causal rather that just a correlation. But my guess? The association is just too dang close.

 Aspartame can also be found in many other things like sports drinks, gum, candy, and even processed foods. check yo labels friends! Now I'm not trying to judge you or tell you you absolutely shouldn't drink it! I think it can be a good treat for every now and again. But ultimately, I think people should be informed about what they're putting in their bodies. Just doing my two cents!

Also, I missed you guys! How are you?!

9 comments:

Kaycie- Redhead Memories said...

Icky! We Americans eat some nasty stuff sometimes.

Clint said...

Wanna know what's funny? The ad right now is for a natural sweetener with zero calories .... hmmm!

Andrea Shumway said...

very interesting post...i actually am trying to stop drinking soda myself! My mother-in-law (who is a super healthy person) read somewhere that studies have shown that expectant mothers who drink soda could be doing just as much harm to their babies as mothers who smoke or drink. I thought it sounded a little far fetched but hey, you never know!
{oh and fyi, I'm not prego :)}

Kara said...

Yes, thank you posting this! I tell people this all the time and they just don't get it. I try to stay away from all coke. Coffee is my better drug. :)

LeAhnna said...

Ewwwwwwwwwwww D:
I hardly ever drink soda anyway--but this is definitely good to keep in the back of my mind when I want some. Just ew.

life in a nutshell

Danielle M. said...

and yogurt!! haha I was just sitting here eating my yogurt that has 170 calories instead of the popular 100 calories thinking it is a bummer that this has more calories but that's because it has some real sugar instead of fake. Then I read your blog and it reminded me again why I don't eat or drink fake sugar stuff.

Becca said...

i have such a love hate relationship with aspartame. this helps though...

Lili said...

Aspartame is a beast. I recently found out I am pseudo-allergic to it. I get trouble breathing after consuming it, e.g. in a Diet Coke. Had troubles on and off for years with shortness of breath, and when it recently became an everyday problem, I finally figured it out. Never touched aspartame again, never had the problem again :-)

Kacey's View said...

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kaceyshaker@yahoo.com