As a culture, we are consuming diet products like soda, altered foods, shakes, bars and pills because we are told that they are going to make it easier to lose weight. Maybe even for a short period of time, they do. But what’s concerning about these products are the long-term consequences only now being uncovered[i]. The food replacements that were once thought to aid our weight loss journey, are in fact causing weight gain[ii], and may contribute to things like high blood pressure, liver or kidney damage, sleeplessness, and so much more[iii]. What’s worse, is that the new long-term studies being produced are remaining overlooked. It used to be easy to know the difference between what was an ‘all the time’ food and what was a ‘once in a while’ food. Now, more than ever, our food is not what it seems.
A recent study produced by the Journal of General Internal Medicine about diet drink consumption[iv] is alarming. It found that there is a strong relationship between high diet drink intake and an increased risk of mortality and cardiovascular disease in post-menopausal women. In the past, we have been taught that the word ‘diet’ is synonymous with ‘healthy’, but with more and more studies coming out, it’s all too clear that the opposite is true.
Let’s take the sugar supplement aspartame as an example. Commonly used as an artificial sweetener in a variety of products[v], such as Diet Coke[vi], aspartame has been approved by the FDA as safe for human consumption. But more recent studies have shown a correlation between aspartame consumption and disorders such as birth defects, cancer, diabetes and emotional disorders[vii]. You might be asking why, in that case, it was approved by the FDA? The truth behind aspartame is widely debated[viii] because studies produced by the FDA and other official organizations are almost always short term. The world of nutritional science is so young that scientists just can’t seem to make up their minds on products.
Just as they have always done, scientists will find a replacement for aspartame; some new and improved sweetener that they’ll say is completely safe. The challenge of course, is that we were told that aspartame was safe. All these modified diet products are still so new that it is impossible for them to have been adequately researched on human subjects to determine the effects of long-term consumption.
I’m very conscious of not contributing to the fear of food, but our mindset has a huge impact on our bodies. I encourage you to use this information to find out what your body really wants. Take note of the foods that you crave, and begin to develop an awareness of them. Then think about each of those same foods and ask yourself:
- Does it satisfy you?
- Does it actually taste good?
- Does it give you pleasure?
If it doesn’t meet all the criteria, then it shouldn’t be consumed. Not because it’s going to cause cardiovascular disease, but because somewhere along the way you were told that this was the right thing to do, and now you can learn that maybe it is not.
Our bodies are incredibly strong and resilient; one Diet Coke definitely won’t kill you.
Especially if it’s once in a while, and if it’s something that you thoroughly enjoy, just eat it. Labeling any one food product as ‘bad’ or ‘off limits’ goes against the mission of The Diet Rebellion, because when we try and trick our bodies into hating something, we tend to crave it more intensely[ix]. Instead, I encourage all of my Rebels just to be aware. Know that some of the things you have taught your body to want and crave are based on industry rules that you’ve learned along the way. Challenge those rules and ask yourself if you actually enjoy it.
Want to know more about Diet Industry Liars? Click Here.
Until next time,
Live Life. Love Food. Be Free.