Beer? No thanks! Cider? Not for me! I am a BIG fan of fizzy drinks!!! Coke, Fanta even dandelion & burdock. Soft drinks have been my weakness for most of my life. The sweetness of these drinks is a big draw for me and the reason that I like to drink them. In the 1980’s diet drinks containing artificial sweeteners became the popular alternative to all of the sugary drinks on offer. Words like sugar-free, lite and diet suggested that these drinks were not only low in calories, they were even good for you. That was then but now sweeteners seem to be enemy number one. But why?
So zero calories are good, right?
The product most used to sweeten our food and drinks is still sugar (sucrose) but sugar:
- has no nutrients
- contains no protein
- has no healthy fats
- contributes to tooth decay and obesity
- has no enzymes
- full of empty calories
This is why saccharine, sucralose and aspartame has become so prevalent. Gram for gram these sweeteners are 200 times more sweet than sugar. You use only a fraction of it to obtain the same sweet taste but it contains virtually no calories. Result!
Words like sugar-free, lite and diet suggested that these drinks were not only low in calories, they were even good for you.
Sounds too good to be true? Absolutely! Lets look at what the research says about these additives. Participants in a San Antonio Heart Study who drank more than 21 diet drinks per week were twice as likely to become overweight or obese as people who didn’t drink diet soda.
PepsiCo is listening.
Aspartame has been linked to headaches, nausea and abdominal pain. By late this summer Diet Pepsi and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi will no longer be adding aspartame to their ingredients. But before you think about planning a Pepsi buying frenzy they will be replacing it with sucralose and other similar chemical creations.
But I need a sweet fix!
As part of my drive for the body beautiful, I had begun to make my own ice-tea but left the sugar behind and added “sußstöff” which, although was low in calories, it made my waistline balloon! I have now given it up and am trying to wean myself off sweets in general. But when I need my sweet fix there are many other natural sugar substitutes to choose from. Honey and fruit are great and they contain many nutrients too.
So, I’ll have a glass of sparkling mineral water instead, please.