Did you know diet sodas can actually pack on the pounds?

“Diet” sodas are the ultimate hypocrites of the beverage world. People get hooked on them because they hope the “diet” part will pay off.  Claims of being sugar-free and calorie-free are very seductive. However, eliminating the sugar and the calories usually involves adding a synthetic sweetener, of which asparatame is the most widely used

Diet sodas don’t keep you from getting fat, they actually have just the opposite effect. You can blame this fact on the toxic cocktail of chemicals that go into diet sodas. The most common diet soda brands include: carbonated water, caramel color, aspartame, phosphoric acid, potassium citrate, “natural” flavors, citric acid and caffeine. Aspartame is a non- saccharine synthetic sweetener that for one reason or another keeps receiving FDA approval under such brand names as NutraSweet, Equal and Tropicana Slim. Of all, aspartame is the worse ingredient in diet sodas (as well as in 6,000 other diet and low-calorie processed food products). Put together into a diet soda, this chemical cocktail is known to cause changes in brain chemistry, cellular communication and basic metabolism. These changes to brain and gut chemistry can make you fat.

Aspartame is a dieter’s worst enemy.

Two studies done by the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio found that two daily servings of diet soda, specifically Diet Coke, over time increased waistlines by over three inches, a 70% waistline increase compared to non-diet soda drinkers.

Here’s why. There are logical reasons to explain the fattening (and bloating) effects of aspartame. Aspartame is made up of the toxic chemicals phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol. When you ingest aspartame, it is absorbed from the intestines directly into the liver which then metabolizes – breaks down – the aspartame into its three toxic components. This requires a lot of energy from the liver which means less energy remaining in the liver for metabolism and fat burning. This results in fat storing. Excess fat may build up inside the liver causing fatty liver. When this starts to happen, it is extremely difficult to lose weight.

Aspartame also causes weight gain by other mechanisms:

  • Aspartame causes unstable blood sugar levels, which increases the appetite and causes cravings for sweets and sugar, making it particularly toxic for those with diabetes.
  • It causes fluid retention, making the body look puffy and bloated, as well as increasing the formation of cellulite.

Here are other negatives about aspartame:

  • Heightened risk of heart failure, metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
  • Kidney problems and hip fractures. Researchers have found that women who drank two or more diet sodas a day had as much as a 30% decrease in kidney function.
  • It alters mood. The FDA may approve it, but aspartame is on an EPA list of potentially dangerous chemicals contributing to neurotoxicity, right beneath arsenic. The Academy of Neurology has found that artificially sweetened drinks are connected to a higher risk of depression, at least 30% as much.
  • Aspartame contains free methyl alcohol which is classified as a narcotic. It causes chronic methanol poisoning which affects the dopamine system of the brain and gut, which has the unwanted side effect of causing addiction.

Diet sodas – both seductive and addictive. You may love them, but your body doesn’t.