Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I'm (not) full of artificial sweetener

This post - - got me thinking again about artificial sweetener.

When I was a kid, my mom was always very wary of artificial sweeteners. Even in the 1980's, she was talking about how she didn't think it was healthy and was pretty much convinced it was a carcinogen. To be honest, I kind of thought she was off her rocker! Where was the scientific proof? And would the government really allow a known carcinogen to be so widely consumed without any warning label (a la cigarettes)?

But then every so often, I'd hear about a new study involving artificial sweetener, especially the now-dreaded aspartame. There were negative studies involving aspartame and rats. Then when Splenda came out, everyone was all excited because this meant you didn't need to consume aspartame. But I thought aspartame wasn't bad for me?

The real clincher for me came about 10 years ago when a second cousin of mine - in her late 30s and the vision of health - developed bone cancer. She was a beautiful, slim woman. We soon discovered that she consumed vast amounts of diet soda. She'd visit for the weekend and you'd have to buy at least a caseload. This is not even close to a scientific study, but when a healthy 30-something who drinks vast quantities of diet soda develops a fatal form of bone cancer, you begin to think about things.

I'm not much of a soda drinker and I hate fat-free, sugar-free yogurt (it's like creamy jello. Gross!), but I very, very rarely will consume artificial sweetener now. If I consume it, it's usually by accident. The jury is still out whether artificial sweetener is really that bad for one's health, but really, why even bother taking the risk?


  1. Amen Sister!

    Although I do love an occasional diet dr. pepper...

  2. I think, like anything, moderation is key. I try to be moderate with my coffee consumption...with mostly unsuccessful results!