Why diet sodas don't get my business
I like soda pops as much as the next normal person but over the last couple of years I've drastically reduced my intake and therefore my purchase of these products, especially when it comes to the large name brand sodas. My reasons are interconnected: most smaller name brand sodas (aka the store brands) go flat a lot sooner than the name brands, yet the name brands are often ridiculously priced. However, when I do purchase sodas I choose those with sugar or high fructose corn syrup. I stick with these sweeteners because 1. I am allergic to aspartame and 2. the other artificial sweeteners leave a nasty, thick film in my mouth that goes straight down my throat. Frankly, they make my tongue feel like its coated in liquid latex.
There used to be sweetener on the market that was sold everywhere, one that didn't make me gag or break me out in hives. A sweetener that probably wasn't up to snuff for every soda drinker out there because it has a bitter twang. It was a sweetener that was removed from my very favorite soda in the world (the original Fresca) and every other soda it had previously appeared in. Yep, I'm talking about saccharine. The reason for the sudden removal of saccharine from the beverage world is that researchers in Canada and then Wisconsin decided to test out the detrimental effects of the substance on human beings, via, of course, by studying what happened to lab rats after supplying them with saccharine. By the word "studying" I mean studying in the loosest sense of the word.
These diet studies began as soon as the animals were born and the amount of saccharine given them in a single day was the equivalent of a human being ingesting the saccharine levels found in 800 cans of diet soda in twenty-four hours. Subsequent studies were performed on the young of these rats, who were fed saccharine all their lives (including their prenatal lives). Several of the rats developed bladder cancer and bladder tumors. Now let's be rational - if any of us were to chug down 800 cans of a soda on a single day we're going to end up sick. If our children were to be fed saccharine in these amounts how could it be surprising to anyone when they developed bladder cancer or some other horrible disease?
Another non-shocker: since the banishment of saccharine from the soda world the EPA has indeed removed it from their list of hazardous constituents and commercial chemicals. In a 2010 released statement the agency went further by saying they no longer consider saccharine to be a potential hazard to human health. I guess kudos are in order for the intelligent soul(s) who finally figured out that feeding a rodent mega-massive-doses of any additive isn't a reliable method in determining the effects on humans of that additive. Too bad this logical way of thinking didn't count for the researchers back in the day. If it had I think a great many saccharine users would have been spared needless worry if that last Fresca or Diet Pepsi was going to send them to the morgue.
Like I said, I don't drink much soda these days. And this being the case I sure don't mind sticking to the time-tested naturally sweetened ones - as everyone probably knows sugar comes from sugar cane and corn syrup from corn. I do, however, resent the times when I'm out somewhere, get thirsty and then discover the soda machines either don't offer naturally sweetened sodas or have run out. The choices left are those with the yechy artificial sweeteners. So experience has taught me to bring along my own drink. (Wal-Mart has doubly lost out on my business because I can't even buy flavored waters on a shopping trip there anymore. Every blessed bottle has blasted aspartame.)
Thankfully most juices don't have artificial sweeteners in them and I drink a lot of juice, coffee and water. When I do reach for a soda its one of the off brands like delicious yummy Mountain Holler and Dr. Pop. The calories of one serving is easily walked off, the price is decent and by Valhalla and their natural sweeteners won't give me hives!
More by this Author
A list of the 10 Worst cold and nutritious breakfast cereals from a consumer who likes the taste of whole grain foods when they're done right.
A selection of non-alcoholic Irish-themed beverages, great for St. Patrick's Day or other celebrations.
The 25 Scariest Movie Scenes of All Time (a viewer's list)