A couple of weeks ago I was happy to see the headline: Diet Pepsi Dropping Aspartame on Customer Concern
But just as fast as I got excited, my heart sank as I realized it had to be replaced with something, and what would that be? Surely another artificial sweetener. Yep.
Sucralose will replace aspartame in Diet Pepsi (as well Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi), although it looks like Diet Mountain Dew and other PepsiCo diet drinks won't be affected, and the change only applies to the American market.
Is sucralose an improvement over aspartame?
If you're not sure what sucralose is, you may recognize the brand name, Splenda. Sucralose was discovered in 1976 by scientists from England and is a synthetic sweetener.
"Sucralose is the final chemical compound created by the addition of chlorine atoms to sucrose molecules through a complex chemical reaction…Sucralose is not natural." truthaboutsplenda.com
"Sucralose is patented as a manmade "chlorinated sucrose sweetener" and it is registered as "chlorinated sucrose." Chlorinated sucrose is not found anywhere in nature, like real sugar (sucrose) that is extracted from sugar cane and sugar beets. Chlorinated sucrose exists because of man." Dr. Janet Hull
According to Dr. Mercola, sucralose is made from sugar, but chemically it's more similar to DDT, an insecticide that was banned in 1972.
Sucralose effects on the body could include:
- Reduction of good gut bacteria by 50%
- Weight gain
- Lessen the effectiveness of medication (especially for cancer and heart disease)
- Releases toxins (decomposition during baking releases potential toxic compounds)
- Altered Body Responses (alter blood sugar levels, contribute to inflammatory bowel disease, could alter genes)
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Heart Disease
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Allergic Reactions
If you're not a regular consumer of sucralose, but do drink Diet Pepsi, keep an eye out for the following symptoms of sucralose sensitivity when the updated product hits the shelves.
- Skin Conditions (rashes, itching, swelling, etc.)
- Shortness of Breath or Coughing
- Stuffy or Runny Nose
- Irritated Eyes
- Joint Pain
- Stomach/Intestinal Problems
- Racing Heart
If you are a regular consumer of sucralose, of course I urge you to wean yourself off of it. Eat plenty of plain Greek yogurt to put the good bacteria back in your gut, and even go to a health food store and ask about supplements such as acidophilus to help strengthen your gut's health again. (If your gut isn't healthy, the rest of you won't be either.)
I always coach my clients to eat natural food, including real sugar over anything artificial. Even if it claims to be safe for you, we just don't know the long-term affects of anything synthetic. It's better to have the few extra calories than ingest something that hasn't been proven to be safe. Eat what's found in nature, not a chemical plant!
I’m afraid PepsiCo customers still have cause for concern.
Read my previous post: Take Time: Plan