That’s Sweet

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.)

English: Diet Coke Products

English: Diet Coke Products (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Space-filling model of the aspartame molecule,...

Space-filling model of the aspartame molecule, an artificial sweetener. This image shows the zwitterionic form. Colour code (click to show) : Black: Carbon, C : White: Hydrogen, H : Red: Oxygen, O : Blue: Nitrogen, N (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.)

English: Pepsi Cola and Diet Pepsi soda delivery

English: Pepsi Cola and Diet Pepsi soda delivery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Caffeine-Free Pepsi

Caffeine-Free Pepsi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Pepsi Plans to Ditch Aspartame (NBCNews); Diet Pepsi to ditch the aspartame (USA Today); Diet Pepsi drops controversial sweetener aspartame after customer concerns about safety (Mail online).

A picture of a Pepsi-truck in Norway

A picture of a Pepsi-truck in Norway (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.