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Diet soda drinks were originally created for those suffering with diabetes, but slowly became a dieters dream because they contain fewer calories. As a child, I remember my father’s pick-up truck filled to the brim with empty Diet Coke bottles and I was terrified to open the door in public because all of them would come spilling out. He’s tidied up and cut back, but now I am terrified for his health. Not only has diet soda products been found to decrease weight loss efforts, but it has surprisingly been shown to increase chances of diabetes. Scientists agree though this may be due to the lifestyle many diet soda drinkers follow, but there are other health concerns associated with diet drinks. (photo credit here)

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Aspartame, more commonly known as NutriSweet, is found in hundreds of Diet products in the United States. With a sugar index 200 times as sweet as sucrose, using less allows companies to provide the same sugar taste without all the calories. Seems great, right? Unfortunately, since it’s discovery in 1965 and it’s approval for use in food in the 80’s, aspartame has been the cause of more controversy within the FDA than any other food additive. When ingested, aspartame is broken down into three products, one of which is methanol. The loose methanol travels to different tissues in the body and is converted to formaldehyde, a chemical most commonly known as an embalming agent. Not only is methanol classified as a metabolic poison, but it also affects dopamine levels in the brain, making it addictive. After its discovery, aspartame was studied thoroughly and the information gathered by the FDA has allowed approval of aspartame use in consumer goods, but over 92 side effects of aspartame have been listed, including headaches, seizures, cancer, and even death. Many people believe lab results were fudged and employees were hired or fired at the FDA to get aspartame approved prematurely, and since there are almost 100 side effects reported, it may be a good idea to believe them. (photo credit here)

What are your thoughts on this not-so-sweet subject?