On my journey to better health, diet drinks were one of the last things I gave up. I loved drinking coke zero – and I was either addicted chemically, by habit, or both. But there was one other aspect that hooked me – actually, it hooks a lot of us: zero calories.
Somewhere along the way, we’ve been tricked. As consumers, we’ve been lead to believe that “zero calories” means “healthy”. We’ve become so calorie focused that it’s often the only thing we check for on the labels of our food.
Have you ever noticed that a lot of the food touted as “zero calories” are also often “zero nutrients”? I couldn’t condemn anyone for having difficulty giving up the habit, because I get it. I really do. They often aren’t offering much – but they’re sweet, and satisfying. Yea that’s right I said it: satisfying.
But are they worth it? Not only are they lacking in nutrients, but many of them contain an ingredient that we need to be aware of )and stay away from): aspartame.
If you want to get to know a little more about aspartame, here it is. Aspartame is an artificial sweetener and proven neurotoxin (it’s toxic to the brain). It has also been linked to cancer, tumors, and obesity. All of those conditions can lead to an untimely death. Reported reactions include anxiety, insomnia, headaches, heart palpitations, and joint aches – just to name a few.
I’m not trying to scare you – I just want you to be informed. I want you to make knowledge-based decisions about your health. It is in your hands.
Aspartame is found in a variety of diet sodas – but you might be surprised to find it in some other foods as well. It’s in some yogurts, cereals, flavored waters, candy, and gum.
I know it’s all about the bottom dollar – but I still wonder how manufacturers can get away with putting this poison in our food. But as consumers, we vote with our dollar, and we can decide whether or not to spend our money on these risky products.
If I can leave you with one last thought, let it be this: focus on health – not on calories. There are so many great beverage options out there – and yes they have calories – but tons of great nutrients too! Kombucha, fresh smoothies, vegetable juices, soda water with fresh fruit.
You can try something new and still ‘treat’ yourself.