Diet Pepsi to remove a harmless additive, still no healthier.

As noted here Diet Pepsi plans to remove the dreaded ingredient Aspartame from some (only 3, to be precise) of it’s products in the U.S. starting next year. It will be replaced by larger amounts of Acesulfame-K and Sucralose (Splenda). This move, in response to consumer pressure. The result: it’s still junk food.

Aspartame really is the boogey man of the food additive world, a reputation it has never earned and which has been thoroughly debunked countless times (like in this fantastic article). Sure, there is a *slight* chance that it could actually be harmful. But let’s put this into perspective: there is a definite link between added sugar in the diet (whether the “white poison”, manuka honey, or raw agave syrup) and chronic diseases. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame are a way for us to overindulge in that sweet, sweet flavour we crave and (ideally) reduce our sugar intake.

Acesulfame-K and Sucralose are fine too, for the record. But also “chemicals” produced in “labs”. My guess is it won’t be too long until they start getting more of the flak heaped upon aspartame. The public reaction, unsurprisingly, is rejoicing that a favoured beverage is now “safe” to consume again. Let’s all take a moment to recall other recent formulation changes like the removal of azodicarbonamide from Subway bread (still didn’t make that footlong double meat, double cheese cold cut trio with bacon better for you). The only reason to rejoice in the Diet Pepsi change is if you (like my husband) really hate the flavour of aspartame. If you want to make healthier choices more often, reduce your pop intake, with or without aspartame.

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