I’m diabetic. I weigh a little over 200 pounds. I don’t gain weight easily, and I don’t lose it easily either. When I was first diagnosed with diabetes last January (2011) I was told to remove all soda (my kryptonite) from my diet. I was 185 lbs. Diet soda was fine, since it had no sugar, but sugar (high fructose corn syrup) was bad, bad, bad for me.
Being diabetic is a love-hate relationship. My body needs carbs to be efficient, but it can’t handle the sugar in those carbs so eating them drags me down to zero energy. It’s a complicated “eat only 40 grams of carbs a day” scenario where 10 over or 10 under might screw up the rest of my day.
Aspartame is in everything. Apparently, before my time, sucralose was in everything, and the big companies switched to Aspartame to properly substitute corn syrup. Why? Cheaper. Bottom dollar at work again. Cheaper, processed and therefore patented artificial sweetner some big company can corner the market on. So “diet” usually means aspartame.
“Diet soda” is a misnomer. It’s not a diet soda. It’s not a dieter’s soda. It makes you RAVENOUSLY hungry. Savage like a wild animal. It eats your stomach up until you have a gnawing black hole devouring the universe inside you. You salivate over donuts, daydream about Doritos. And, of course, that’s what the Krispy Kreme and Doritos companies want. Some technical term like Cross-Marketing comes to mind.
Aspartame is the devil for a dieter. It’s like little Bailey’s-filled chocolates for an alcoholic on the mend. It’s better to drink cane sugar than to drink an ounce of that stuff, because it destroys your dieting resolve.
But I’m not a dieter, so it’s gravy. Right? No… It in fact made me so hungry for sugary, candy things I was doing worse in the insulin department than I was before I went off it. Let’s get this straight: soda’s nasty. 49 grams of corn syrup in each 12 oz can is downright dangerous. But I gained 20 pounds simply by getting into an otherwise “healthier” lifestyle of removing soda and other high-carb drinks (like sweet tea).
Advice for dieters and diabetics alike: buy unsweet tea and administer stevia to taste if you have to. Or coffee. Stevia is a NATURAL, UNPROCESSED sweetner that accomplishes the same pros Aspartame does but can’t be trademarked or developed by Big Business, so you won’t hear a lot of advertisement about it. Furthermore, Dr. Pepper won’t be replacing Aspartame anytime soon. It’s bad business, and I understand why they wouldn’t change something that isn’t broken (again, they aren’t in the business to help you lose weight or live healthier. They’re in the business to make money).
SoBe has some low-carb alternatives full of caffine, too, if that’s what you’re looking for. Lifewater. Look for the Truvia label, and look for the lids with purple or green. They are awesome.
Finally, Aspartame reacts with me strangely. It turns me into a blubbering idiot. I forget focus every five minutes, after drinking some, and run around wondering why I can’t remember anything. My creativity dies. It is literally a dangerous drug with damaging side-effects. For me. Reactions do vary, of course.