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Tag: aspartame

Diet Sodas Lead to Weight Gain, Disease

A new class action lawsuit has been filed against big soda manufacturers for misleading consumers into thinking that drinking diet sodas sweetened with Aspartame are a good choice for weight loss and overall health.

Family reading health plan booklet

As I’ve preached for a long time: nothing could be further from the truth.

Not only do “diet” drinks sweetened with Aspartame not lead to weight loss, but, according to a report on Good Morning America, there is extensive data showing that drinking diet sodas can contribute to obesity, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

I recently saw a dear friend and noticed that he had lost weight. In fact, he had lost 45 lbs., and the only thing he had changed in his life was that he stopped drinking all soda, including the liters of diet soda that had been a staple in his life.

My advice: save soda for special occasions, and then the first choice should be an all-natural soda like Blue Sky Organic Ginger Ale. And if you’re going to drink a mass-market soda, don’t choose the diet version that is sweetened with Aspartame.

Hiding Aspartame in Milk Products

Just when you  thought you were doing a good job in choosing natural products and avoiding adding chemicals to your body, along comes the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) to petition the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow them to add Aspartame and other “non-nutritive sweeteners” to milk products without identifying them as so “enhanced.”Aspartame in milk products

These guys want to add Aspartame, a collection of chemicals used as a sugar substitute, to the flavored milks offered in school lunchrooms without labeling the milk as “low-calorie” or “sugar-free”. They believe that labeling that touts “lower calorie” or “sugar-free” will hinder the marketing of these flavored milk boxes to kids.

Since the flavored milks already say “low-fat” on the individual-size boxes, I think this is a specious claim designed to help push through their bigger agenda, which is to be able to add Aspartame to dairy products such as sour cream, half-and-half, yogurt, heavy cream, evaporated milk, dry nonfat milk… 17 dairy products in all, without prominent labeling indicating that this is an adulterated food.

You’ll reach for a quart of “milk”, but what you’ll really be getting is “milk with added Aspartame.”

Without going into why Aspartame is bad for you and what kinds of symptoms someone with Aspartame sensitivity might experience upon exposure (seizures, migraines, chronic fatigue, skin issues, Multiple Sclerosis-like symptoms, etc.), let’s think about living in a country where any normal-looking milk product you purchase at a store or  ingest at a restaurant could likely contain Aspartame. Get sour cream on your baked potato, and you’re getting Aspartame. A latte at Starbucks? Aspartame. A cup of Boston clam chowder? Aspartame. Not to mention all of the normal routes that you’re already getting Aspartame through: diet sodas, chewing gum, bottled salad dressings, and on and on. All of that Aspartame really adds up in your system.

In case you didn’t know, too: Aspartame is a GMO.

What infuriates me perhaps most of all about this insidious method of boosting corporate profits, is that it takes away our freedom and ability to choose for ourselves what we want to put into our own bodies and gives it to chemical companies.

There has been a lively debate about this over at The Healthy Home Economist, with a few chemists piping up in the comments to claim that the chemicals in Aspartame are just as good for you as real food.

If you think we deserve to have Aspartame-enhanced foods, feel free to leave you comment for the FDA on how you feel about the petition to add Aspartame to milk products without distinguishing them as such. You’ll see the Comment link at the top right of the page.

The Definitive Word on Fructose

Fructose makes you fat.

Don’t be fooled: fructose does not come from fruit. It is made in a laboratory out of corn, beets, and sugar cane and is added to packaged foods to make them sweeter.

You might have been under the impression that fructose was a healthier sweetener than, say, Aspartame or high fructose corn syrup (made of corn syrup with added fructose), or even better than plain cane sugar. You were fooled.

Don’t blame yourself! Fructose shows up on labels of foods you might have thought were healthier alternatives, like flavored waters or energy bars, giving the impression that it’s a healthier alternative to sugar.

It’s not.

A recent study out of Yale using MRI technology found that fructose inhibited the brain from switching off the appetite, leading to overeating. In contrast glucose, as found in complex carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables, will turn off hunger when appropriate levels are reached.

Start reading the labels of your foods and you might be surprised everywhere high fructose corn syrup or just plain fructose shows up. And we wonder why we have an obesity epidemic here.

What does NYC’s ban on large sugary drinks really do?

I’ve been following with interest as New York City’s mayor Michael Bloomberg moves to ban large containers of “sugary drinks”.

Besides that he really means “high fructose corn syrup drinks,” as mainstream American sodas haven’t been mixed with sugar since 1981, the ban is full of loopholes allowing items like 7-11’s Big Gulp and worse, gives a pass to the “diet” forms of these sodas, which have their own set of evils when it comes to the public health.

Diet sodas in general are linked to a 61% increase in strokes and heart attacks, according to the American Stroke Association. They are full of toxic sweeteners such as Aspartame, Neoname, and Sucralose, all of which can have neurotoxic effects when consumed.

In my opinion, our public health struggle against obesity has some misguided assumptions and applications. Still, when Oprah and Dr. Oz suggested that people who want to lose weight give up drinking soda altogether, many saw weight loss in just two weeks. Perhaps NYC should ban all sodas and see where that leads…