What can we learn?
Coke and Aspartame. Coke and Sugar. Is the stuff good for me or not? The arguments rage on. Maybe you love your Coca Cola, but are not sure where you stand in this debate. Judging by declining Coke sales lately, it seems some people, if they haven’t already made up their minds, have certainly stepped back to wait and see if an answer comes out that makes them feel better.
So, can I honestly embrace Micheal Jackson wowing me in that old classic Pepsi commercial, still laugh at Elvis offering me a Coke and a bite of his banana, bacon, and peanut butter sandwich? Do I have to now drink Guinness with Bono? Maybe I should just be drinking water with Honey Boo Boo. You know, I never once saw Captain Kirk down a soft drink on Star Trek. Did they get this question answered by their stardate? What do the experts say?
According to Wikipedia, “The safety of aspartame has been the subject of several political and medical controversies, congressional hearings and Internet hoaxes since its initial approval for use in food products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1981 A 2007 medical review on the subject concluded that “the weight of existing scientific evidence indicates that aspartame is safe at current levels of consumption as a non-nutritive sweetener”. However, because its breakdown products include phenylalanine, aspartame must be avoided by people with the genetic condition “phenylketonuria.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenylketonuria
If that explanation doesn’t help, then if its not time stop buying products with artificial sweeteners, it may be time to ask your body what it thinks.
Despite recent ad campaigns to the contrary too much sugar can make you fat. How? Check this out this explanation from Nutritionist Ben Greenfield.
“There are two ways that sugar can sabotage your body and cause fat storage. Excess glucose is the first problem, and it involves a very simple concept.Anytime you have filled your body with more fuel than it actually needs (and this is very easy to do when eating foods with high sugar content), your liver’s sugar storage capacity is exceeded. When the liver is maximally full, the excess sugar is converted by the liver into fatty acids (that’s right – fat!) and returned to the bloodstream, where is taken throughout your body and stored (that’s right – as fat!) wherever you tend to store adipose fat cells, including, but not limited to, the popular regions of the stomach, hips, butt, and breasts. As an unfortunate bonus, once these regions are full of adipose tissue, the fatty acids begin to spill over into your organs, like the heart, liver, and kidneys. This reduces organ ability, raises blood pressure, decreases metabolism, and weakens the immune system.”
Personally, I lost more than 70 pounds by scaling back my calorie intake and cutting out sugar. It worked but it presented another problem. Now I must deal with the artificial sweetener question. Will these fake sugars give me cancer, cause me to go crazy, make me lose more hair, and kill my sex life, as some have claimed? Lots of my health conscious friends insist that it will, even as my mind disputes and pushes away their warnings.
The most important expert I asked about this debate was my body. I went to the doctor after 7 months of practicing my new health life style, and substituting aspartame for sugar. I gave the blood and the urine, let him poke and prod me, and when the results came back I found out my cholesterol was down, my blood pressure was fine, and I felt great. That’s how it worked for me. But what about you?
You have to make your own choice. Ask your doctor, and seek out a good nutritionist if your doctor doesn’t quite answer all your questions. When you are satisfied, have a Coke and a smile, or maybe a bottle of water and a banana, bacon, and peanut butter sandwich .