We are all guilty. We have all done it. Those of you who deny it- well, you are probably lying. There is a daily and constant reminder lurking around every corner at the grocery store. Packaging labels exclaim “Only 0 Calories!” and attempt to personify the miracle that “diet” food can make you skinny, prevent heart disease, or even help you lose fat. Despite these outlandish claims our country has yet to see a reverse in the epidemic of diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune, and obesity in our population. If “diet” food really works, where are the results?

If you want to know the truth, keep reading. If you already seem to know the answers and are afraid the truth about diet foods may be too hard for you to handle, secretly take your Diet Coke with you and close this blog for now. You are not ready to face the demons that are destroying you from the inside out.

An Inconvenient Truth:

For the purpose of this blog, I’m going to pick on diet cola. As a physician and nutritionist, I have yet to treat a single patient who drinks diet cola on a regular basis that doesn’t complain of fatigue, depression, anxiety, insomnia, or unexplained weight gain.

Most of the patients I am referring to say they go to the doctor for their annual check-up and are told, “ You need to lose weight”. As much as you hate to hear it, there is a small part of you that already knows it’s true, but yet we make excuses:

  • -It’s been a stressful year.
  • -There’s a lot going on right now.
  • -Emotionally you are drained.
  • -Physically, you are just trying to keep up with your schedule, kids schedule, work, etc.

The reality is you’re exhausted, addicted to caffeine, and can’t live without your diet soda. By now, I hope you get the idea… You leave the doctor’s office thinking what everyone who plans on starting a typical diet thinks, “Time to start eating rabbit food.”

What You See Isn’t What You Get:

With no direction or instructions on how to lose weight, you turn to what little our very own culture has taught us to believe, which constitutes the biggest lies you have ever been told:

  • -“Diet Food” is NOT good for you. If it needs a “diet” label it is trying to be something it is not. When was the last time you saw an apple with a label? In order to lose weight, you do NOT need to cut your calories.
  • -You need to cut BAD calories. Not all calories are created equal.
    You CANNOT exercise your way out of a bad diet. One Big Mac would take running a marathon just to burn off the calories.
  • -Zero calorie foods are NOT a good way to lose weight. The Truth is you can actually gain weight starving yourself. This is especially true in regards to diet cola or a low calorie diet.

At all costs avoid Aspartame. It really is “that bad for you”. It literally converts to Formaldehyde in your gut. This is the same chemical used in cadaver labs to preserve the bodies. Side effects of Formaldehyde poisoning include, but are not limited to, genetic damage and other cognitive adverse effects, headache, fatigue, dizziness, unexplained allergies, GI upset and disturbance, nausea, inability to concentrate, infertility, seizures, neurobehavioral symptoms, memory loss, and dexterity impairment.

Both MSG and Aspartame have been shown to cross the blood brain barrier in chronic dosing causing neurological degenerative diseases and cellular excitotoxicity.
Excitotoxicity is a term used to describe a broad range of chronic neuro degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Chorea, stroke, MS, and dementia.

Healthy eating and lifestyle begin with a strong foundation and it doesn’t have to be difficult. The general rule of thumb I give patients is to be careful if it comes in packaging. Most natural occurring foods do not, think fruits, vegetables, proteins from the butcher or seafood counter. Understanding and being in control of what you’re putting in your body is the first step on the road to better health.