So few days back I read about this study which correlates diet soda and a host of health problems. The soda doesn’t cause the health problems, mind you, but it’s considered likely that heavy consumption of diet soda indicates poor eating habits.
Which is just totally unfair.
I switched to you to be healthier, Diet Dr. Pepper! I believed in you! You’re a doctor! And this is where you take me, down a road that ends in heart attacks?
Here’s the thing: diet foods creep me out. It took dating a Diet Coke-obsessed woman to turn me on to diet soda, and even then only because waking up at 7:30 each day (life is hard, I know) necessitates cheap caffeine. I chew sugarless gum without trepidation, but the rest of those calorie-free, nutrient-free, everything-free monstrosities science hath wrought set off some kind of warning bells in my brain.
We all know now that saccharin’s cancer link was based on faulty test procedures. We dismiss the critics of newer wonder-sweeteners like aspartame and Splenda as crackpots. They’re generally recognized as safe, and thus we’re all fine, right?
Maybe so. But honestly, I wish I had the self-restraint to eat the real sweet stuff less often instead of tricking myself every time my belly demands tribute. But, judging by how fast a week’s worth of cookies vanishes from my house, it seems I don’t. And by constantly nurturing those urges for confections with faux-food instead of gaining the discipline to only eat the real goodies, say, once a week, maybe I’m holding myself back from true healthy eating. As long as I eat something sweet–even synthetically sweet–whenever I want something sweet, maybe I’m telling my body “keep craving junk; maybe eventually I’ll give you the good stuff” rather than teaching it to just hold the damn cravings off ’til the weekend.
What do you think? Do any of you feel ill at ease when you crack open your third Diet Coke or bake cookies with Splenda?