Diet Soda is Bad for You!!

“I can quit anytime I want--in fact, I quit everyday!”

We laughed at that old saw the first time. It was related to alcohol, cigarettes or recreational drugs but has been repeated so many times in TV and movies that it’s not funny anymore. Victims of addiction still say it with conviction and are as pathetic as sad-sack clowns.

So now I ask you. Can you quit? Can you give up diet soda?

When you finish laughing, I’ll tell you why you must. Diet soda is bad for you.

“Diet soda.” The very term implies it must be good for you. So many people drink it to control their weight or lose weight because it has no calories. Others drink it for the caffeine. Some drink it because without sugar it should be better for their teeth. Others say it settles their stomach and makes them feel good. [The bubbles are refreshing and it goes so well with chips!] And some are trying to avoid the High Fructose Corn Syrup in regular sodas and are jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

Here’s the bad news. Diet soda is bad for you! Why? Diet soda is addicting and it’s toxic. It’s sweet because it is manufactured using artificial sweeteners. These artificial no-calorie sweeteners are:

Brand Name Chemical Name
Nutra Sweet Aspartame
Equal Aspartame
Splenda Sucralose, originally made as a pesticide, is a toxic chlorinated hydrocarbon
Sunett Sunett
Sweet ‘N Low Saccharin
Neotame Like Aspartame

These are patented chemicals, not natural herb sweeteners.

Sugar cane has received such a bad reputation that food manufacturers are putting “no sugar added” on the labels of their products. To avoid sugar, ‘moms-to-be’ are drinking diet soda for the good of their babies. The babies are therefore consuming artificial sweeteners before they’re even able to cry in protest. One study showed that if six tablespoons of diet soda were given to a baby it would alter the baby’s DNA forever.

There are more side effects of diet soda.

One study in Italy looked closely at aspartame in diet soda. Aspartame breaks down into formic acid and formaldehyde. [Formic acid is a colorless irritant volatile acid used in textile finishing. Formaldehyde is a colorless pungent toxic gas used as a disinfectant and preservative and in the manufacturing of synthetic resins. It’s also called methanal.] These two toxins attach themselves to the body’s DNA and break it, inducing cancer said the study.

Oh yes, diet soda is bad for you as you will see. Further studies show that aspartame increased leukemia, lymphoma, breast cancer and brain cancer. Aspartame causes the same brain damage as MSG, leading to more cases of Alzheimers, Parkinsons, ALS, and cancer. There is a big increase in astrocytomas [brain tumors] in young women consuming aspartame. Do you know anyone who has developed a brain tumor? I know of two, and to think that many young women drink a case a day because it’s addictive. It makes me cry. These are the side effects of diet soda.

Just think; when aspartame was up for approval by the FDA, neuroscientists and toxicologists on the FDA board objected because it was addicting. It passed anyway.

Double the trouble: Diet soda and junk food

Let’s look at monosodium glutamate [MSG]. Glutamate activates the brain’s nucleus accumbens which is connected to addictive behavior. Glutamate is used by neurons as a transmitter and is converted from glutathione by the body for that use. However, glutamates are harmful in large quantities. In fact consuming glutamates from food can increase blood glutamate levels 19-50 fold higher. This triggers addiction. The excessive quantities come from “not being able to eat just one.”

Glutamates are disguised on labels as:

  • Soy proteins
  • Soy isolates
  • Hydrolyzed protein
  • Soy protein concentrates
  • Autolyzed yeast extract
  • MSG

And where, you ask, does one find all these ugly glutamates?

Unfortunately they are in all those yummy snack foods that go so well with diet pop, i.e. chips, corn chips, cheesies, crackers and cookies. Check out most packaged foods.

In 1957, glutamate was found to be toxic to the eye’s retina. Now it is also known to be toxic to the brain’s hypothalamus and this gland regulates the body’s hormones. Children are 4 times more susceptible. The result affects teen growth, abnormal teen periods, premature puberty and infertility. Think of the many young people today who are unable to conceive.

The truth is hidden from society by The International Glutamate Technical Committee, an organization composed of US Food Manufacturers and the Ajinomoto Company of Japan, the chief manufacturer of MSG and hydrolyzed protein. They make manufactured food taste good but keep quiet about how they do it.

When aspartame and glutamate are consumed together, the toxicity of glutamate levels are raised so high it causes toxic sensitivities [not allergies] and brings about rampant obesity, diabetes, cancer and hormonal problems. One doctor has said that adding to these toxins the fatty acid omega 6 from junk foods and our society is experiencing more breaks in our DNA than the Japanese did from the nuclear bombs in World War 2. You see, diet soda is bad for, and even worse when mixed with popular snacks.

However, because glutamates are made by the body and are a natural amino acid, they cannot be banned in manufactured food.

Trade calories for toxins?

The latest farce is too funny. Reading labels has been made progressively more difficult by pretty packaging. Words are smaller and placed on colored backgrounds to make them less visible. The latest ‘truth in packaging’ announcement is that they are going to place the number of calories in a soda prominently on the front. Who cares? Tell us about the toxins!

Guess what? I went to the grocery store and checked out the diet cola packages. There, boldly lettered on the packages was “O calories--contains aspartame.” So there is “truth in packaging” – by printing “contains aspartame” on the can the companies are telling you “diet soda is bad for you.” But it was still funny in a macabre way because one product was packaged in a [warning] BLACK BOX!

So, be warned!

While looking at the pretty soda can, think about the can itself. It’s light, thin and crushable. How many times have you seen a young man crush a diet pop can in one hand to prove his strength? The can is made of aluminum, one of the ‘heavy metals’ [aluminum, mercury, lead and cadmium] that are toxic to our bodies. These metals cause low levels of acetylcholine [a vital neurotransmitter]. Aluminum bunches up nerve cells and knots them together — contributing to Alzheimers.

In addition to the artificial sweeteners, there is the artificial coloring added to the colas. Called ‘caramel coloring’ it is actually made by subjecting sugar to sulphites and ammonium compounds for a reaction that creates the coloring of a cola. Called 'Caramel IV' it sounds quite benign, but this process creates chemical by-products. Two of these promote lung, liver, and thyroid tumors and one has been placed on California’s list of known carcinogens.

Another soda ingredient, phosphoric acid, rots teeth. That soda pop rots teeth has been known for more than 50 years, but it’s always been attributed solely to the sugar. There goes one more excuse for drinking diet soda out the window because teeth will rot from the phosphoric acid even without the sugar.

With all these known horrors, the fact is that in 2010 the Coca-Cola company sold almost 927 million cases of their Diet Coke. This makes Diet Coke the second most popular drink in the US (regular Coca-Cola is first). With the addiction factor, I predict it will soon be first place. Think of all these people that don’t (yet) know that diet soda is bad for you. Of course if you give up diet pop for regular soda, you run into HFCS and its risk of obesity and diabetes.

So---can you give up diet soda and regular soda???

Here’s a bit of help: Thirsty? Drink water. And if you absolutely must have a soda, drink one sweetened with cane sugar from a glass bottle or drink something sweetened with herbal sweeteners such as stevia or xylitol. One soda sweetened with stevia is ‘Zevia'. Or have a lemonade sweetened with stevia.

Craving a caffeine fix? Have a square of dark chocolate with a refreshing glass of cold water.

Hungry? Start by drinking a glass of water, as some hunger sensations are a symptom of dehydration. And eat unprocessed, whole foods, such as celery and cheese; an apple with organic non-sweetened peanut butter; a banana or an orange; veggies and dip; berries and yogurt. Real foods.

Replace the temporary ‘feel good’ artificial gratification with a lasting ‘feel good’ from good health.

And remember: drink water. Diet soda is bad for you.

Try some of these homemade beverages for parties and celebrations:

Lemonade sweetened with Stevia

Pretty Cranberry Lemonade

Mulled Peach Cider

Pink Lemonade

Family Citrus Punch

Mulled Warm Apple Cider

Homemade Lemonade

Resources for this article:

'Breakthrough’ by Susanne Somers

Alternatives’ June 2010 issue, by Dr. David Williams

Health and Healing’ July 2010 issue, by Dr. Julian Whitaker

Cancer in a Cola Can’ Feb.28, 2011 by Alice Wessendorf

Caramel Coloring in Soda’ Feb.16, 2011 by Michael F. Jacobson