Why this diet drink could be your downfall

Friday 24 Oct, 2014 

  • The reasons why you should choose your can of pop very carefully.

  • The hidden dangers of diet drinks revealed

  • Why all that is sweet is never good


For a few years now I have railed against the evils of sugary sweet foods and drinks.

Citing the masses of reports and research that proves the direct link between obesity, heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis to their increased consumption.

I’m not alone I know.

When commentators challenge the food and drinks industry their PR puppets trot out a load of guff about low and zero calorie options being available and that it is just a matter of consumer choice.

They say you can lead a fat man to a case of water, but he’d choose to drink Coke!

On the face of it they seem to have a point – if they are making versions of their sickly beverages with low or no sugar in them then they are doing their best... it is just that we choose not to have them.

But in fact their entire, fatuous and myopic view of the world is 100% wrong.

Diet drinks are dangerous – let me explain why.

I’ll NOT have a diet Coke thanks

The sinewy and muscular torso of a window cleaner dangles outside an office window as a group of amorous female office workers gather around a vending machine to enjoy a ‘healthy’ Diet Coke – that’s how TV sells us the idea that diet drink is good.

But the reality is that diet products actually make you fatter, more prone to cardiovascular disease and at risk of an early death from a stroke.

A recent study(1) of over 60,000 people showed that those who regularly have two or more diet soft drinks a day could be up to 50% more likely to die from heart disease.

Despite the marketing story being one about ‘a healthy option’ the truth is that you’d be better off drinking the ‘full fat’ stuff.

Now you might think that choosing the fully loaded sugar rich version would make you pile on the pounds... and they will... but the diet ones will do just the same, but by a different mechanism.

The experts who studied(2) the effects of diet drinks on health found that the millions of people who take them believing the healthier hype actually put weight on faster than those drinking the regular drinks.

It’s not so much about the contents of the can but the psychological effect of drinking it – the research team found that diet drinkers went on to make bad food choices after consumption.

Study author Sarah Hill, associate professor of psychology at Texas Christian University, said: "It seems that drinking a non-caloric drink may prime you to choose unhealthy food items. Those foods are on your mind."

The professor goes on to say that it is thought the artificial sweeteners do not satisfy the craving for sweetness, leading people to eat more sweet foods to compensate.

Let’s not forget that around 60% of all canned drinks consumed in the UK will be diet versions and you begin to see how big a problem this might be... and then there is the problems with the type of artificial sweetener used.

Sweetness is not goodness

Over the years I have made my feelings known about the perils of one of the commonest artificial sweeteners called aspartame. 

It is a hideous invention that does no one any good even though aspartame was once considered a miracle alternative to sugar.

It was discovered by accident in 1965 by a chemist called James M Schlatter. At the time he was trying to produce an antiulcer drug for the pharmaceutical giant, G.D Searle & Co.

When he accidentally licked his finger, he discovered that the chemical he had just concocted was very sweet.

In fact, aspartame is 180 times sweeter than sugar. But because you need such a tiny quantity to sweeten the taste of something, it has hardly any calories.

You can imagine the dollar signs rolling over the eyes of Searle's directors at the news...

A sweetener that doesn't make you fat!

After some years in development, aspartame began to take over the world.

These days it's used in diet drinks, crisps, sweets, 'sugar free' chewing gum, processed meals, ice cream and even toothpaste.

It would be considered the best food invention since sliced bread... if it were not for one tiny drawback...

It's poisonous.

Aspartame stands accused of causing 92 health problems.

They include:

Abdominal pain, anxiety attacks, arthritis, asthma, breathing difficulties, chest pains, chronic coughs, chronic fatigue, confusion, depression, headaches, heart palpitations, hypertension, impotency, insomnia, irritability, memory loss, muscle spasms, nausea, rashes, tinnitus and vision problems.

Worse still, in 1995, the US health authorities discovered that aspartame could cause symptoms similar to multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease.

The other alternative is something called sucralose – you may have come across it under its brand name ‘Splenda’.

Well despite the food industry claiming that it is sugar in a safer form, critics of Splenda say that it's so far removed from sugar in its natural form that it's really just like any other chemical sweetener.

In fact it is based around chlorine which is never good news is it?

This all adds up to more evidence that we can’t trust big business with our health any more than we can trust governments or Big Pharma either.

You heard it here first

After my letter last Sunday about  vitamin D and the best available source I was intrigued to see that our friends at ‘What Doctors Don’t Tell You’ found yet another reason for us all to consider taking reliable supplements. 

WDDTY reported that new research had concluded that Vitamin D - the sunshine vitamin - helps us survive a heart attack, and could even prevent the attack in the first place.

In addition those deficient in the vitamin are seven times more likely to suffer poor brain functioning after a heart attack, researchers found.

It all adds weight to the story I told that this important and often overlooked vitamin is key to good health.

But as the tail end of hurricanes batter us and the darker nights draw in thoughts of sunshine couldn’t be further from our minds.

But hunkering down in your cosy living rooms won’t get your vitamin levels back on track, so make it part of your winter ritual to use the best and most effective form of supplement available – D Lux spray

Yours, as always



(1) Vyas, A., Rubenstein, L., Robinson, J., Seguinz, R., Vitolins, M. Z., Kazlauskaite, R., ... & Wallace, R. (2014). DIET DRINK CONSUMPTION AND THE RISK OF CARDIOVASCULAR EVENTS: A REPORT FROM THE WOMEN'S HEALTH INITIATIVE. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 63(12_S)

(2) Hill, S. E., Prokosch, M. L., Morin, A., & Rodeheffer, C. D. (2014). The effect of non-caloric sweeteners on cognition, choice, and post-consumption satisfaction. Appetite, 83, 82-88.





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