Not A Sweet Solution

Food companies have a way of increasing profits at the cost of our health. Commercials show beautiful and fit young people with emotionally charged music—like “Taste the Feeling” and “Put It Together”—full of energy having a great time. Sure, we know that drinking diet soda is not going to change our physical appearance or happiness, but what we may not know is the damage, drink by drink, that is taking place inside our bodies.

Artificial sweeteners trick the brain, and it feels cheated and wants more sugar to get calories out of it. If people are given Sprite, artificially sweetened soda, or unsweetened carbonated lemon-lime water, and don’t know which they are drinking, later when offered a choice of M&Ms, spring water, or sugar-free gum, guess what they pick. Those drinking the artificially sweetened drinks were nearly three times more likely to take the M&Ms than those who drank sugar-sweetened or unsweetened drinks.

Susan E. Swithers, a professor at Purdue, reviewed and evaluated the most recent research on the effect of drinking diet soda. “Whether consuming high-intensity
sweeteners, despite having zero or low calories, may result in overeating, weight gain, or other health problems.”

From the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, regular consumption of diet soda expands your waistline and is a potential pathway for heart trouble in older people.

What happens to your body when you drink diet soda from minutes to an hour?

First 10 Minutes: The acid attacks the enamel on your teeth, and the artificial sweeteners trick your body into thinking you just ate sugar which your taste buds love.

20 Minutes: Like the regular soft drink, it triggers insulin which sends your body into fat storage mode.

40 Minutes: The combination of caffeine and aspartame is addictive, similar to cocaine, especially if you drink it on a regular basis.

60 Minutes and After: Depletes nutrients, makes you hungry and wanting more. If this doesn’t get you off the diet soda, consider this: It will never quench your thirst as it dehydrates rather than hydrates. Lack of water can lead to brain fog, poor concentration, fatigue, and feeling irritable.

zebra and green tea

Time for a facelift. Using the same format for my newsletter for two years, I needed an injection of freshness. One change was to come up with a name for a column on the second page.

The Sunday Newsletter for Women is a three-page undertaking where I share what interest me, humor, health, wisdom, relationships, environment, and the many technological changes and its implications. Column two offers tidbits of information.

NPR, starting a Blog, faced the naming decision two years earlier. Their creative staff of many struggled and debated. Finally, they decided on “goat and soda.” Oh, how I wanted my column to be goat and soda. But, it wasn’t my idea, my column might say something about soda, but “goat?”

So, my creative staff of one came up with a plethora of ideas:

morning and wine (seriously? People start their morning with wine?)

email and news (boring)

coffee and learning (this smacks of a past era)

one more day (made me think of impending death)

tantalizing tidbits (column two many not always live up to this snappy little name)

Holding on to the idea of two or three words, the answer came in four words, zebra and green tea. Readers tell me they love sharing their first cup of tea/coffee with the Sunday e-newsletter. The striped zebra represents contrast, diversity of information. The green tea improves brain function. A match made.