I don’t really have anything against aspartame. Mind you, if I had children, I probably wouldn’t allow them to drink diet soft-drinks with, or without aspartame unless they were diabetic, and even then in moderation. I’d also want my children to only drink soft-drinks in moderation in any case. (That goes for any artificially sweetened food, even foods sweetened with Stevia or agave syrup.)
I think “moderation” goes a long way to promoting a healthy life.
However I am one of those small percentage that has a severe reaction to aspartame. It causes a magnitude of increase in my depression to start with, that lasts for days after I have even a half serving of diet pop. It also causes severe headaches that last a day or so as well. More disturbingly, it causes me to get chest pains and for a short while after I would drink a diet pop, causes me to act slightly intoxicated.
I stopped using the aspartame sweetened products for perhaps 10 years and then when I had chewed on some aspartame sweetened gum, discovered a slightly scarier effect, it caused me to start getting confused.
I would actually be confused as to where I was! That was with just a single piece of chewing gum.
Early on when I first stopped using products with aspartame in them, I discovered that if I were to have unknowingly have a product with aspartame in it, that I would get the effects whether I knew I had aspartame or not. (It was a fruit punch at a public gallery display where someone decided to use diet ginger-ale instead of regular. I couldn’t taste the aspartame sort of berry flavour with the other components of the punch.)
Anyway, I don’t think most people get such an effect, or at least anywhere near the strength of the effect I get from it.
I was saddened by all the major soft-drinks switching to aspartame as I had found that a cola would really decrease the severity, duration, and frequency of my migraines. Neither coffee nor tea seem to give that positive effect to me. I am not sure why colas are a boon to me in that way.
Unfortunately it isn’t a matter of wanting to lose weight that had me stop drinking sodas. I also was diagnosed with diabetes. :-/ A double whammy so-to-speak. Even being diabetic, an actual regular cola, sweetened with sugar, was better for me than the aspartame sweetened one.
If I didn’t have the reaction, I wouldn’t shun products with aspartame in them. I’m not really against aspartame like some people I know. Though I still think it is a bad idea to use diet products unless you have a medical reason for it.
Now, I hear that some relief might be coming… eventually. Pepsi announced yesterday that they were removing aspartame from there diet Pepsi products! As far as I know that is: Diet Pepsi, Caffeine-Free Diet Pepsi and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi. Pepsi is going to be starting to use sucralose and acesulfame potassium sweeteners as of August… in the USA, that is.
I wished that PepsiCo Canada would do the same thing. It might actually cause this Coke drinker to switch to Pepsi! I can only dream of the relief I would get from my migraines. I figure they’ll change eventually and that Coke might actually follow suit.
In the meantime, I can only have sweet dreams.