Diet Soda Gets a Makeover That Isn't as Healthy as It Sounds

woman drinking sodaDespite aspartame -- the fake sugar also known as Equal and Nutrasweet -- having a pretty bad rap, it's always been used to sweeten Diet Pepsi. Well, not anymore! PepsiCo just rolled out its new formula that uses sucralose and acesulfame potassium, two other fake sweeteners. Only prob? They're not any better.

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Back in April, the soda giant announced it would be changing its diet formulation, namely dropping aspartame due to "customer worries."

This is the first time in three decades that PepsiCo has changed its secret recipe. Perhaps because of a drop in sales. Perhaps because we're all starting to pay a little more attention to the chemicals in our food. (And trying to avoid them.)

And if you're going to start cutting something out, aspartame's a good place to start.

A 2005 study found that rats who were fed the fake sugar had a higher risk of developing cancer throughout their life. Other people have complained of a host of health problems after ingesting aspartame, from blurred vision to headaches and dizziness.

So, it's controversial stuff, and good for PepsiCo to remove it. Alas, sucralose has its own problems.

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Research shows that sucralose -- which is also sold in little yellow packets as Splenda and was discovered when scientists were working with DDT -- can hijack your gut bacteria, limit the absorption of meds you might take for cancer and heart disease so they don't work as well, and alter your body's ability to release insulin and regulate blood sugar. 

In 2013, sucralose was also linked to cancer in an Italian study. Over 800 mice who were given the fake sugar had higher rates of leukemia. So, you know, there's that.

Ace-K, the second ingredient in the new Diet Pepsi, has been poorly tested. But tests that were conducted back in the 1970s show a link between it and link between ace-K and cancer, too. The Center for Science in the Public Interest recommends avoiding it altogether.

To be fair, NO fake sweetener is perfectly safe. They're all linked to Type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and metabolic disorders. And here you were, thinking you were "being good" by ordering a diet drink!

So, what's a girl to pour herself when she's thirsty? Try water or seltzer: free of calories, sweeteners, sodium, AND health risks!

 

Image via iStock.com/nicoletaionescu

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