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MASON CITY, IA – You may think choosing a diet soda is the healthier option.
But recently, it seems more people are raising concerns about what ingredients are in the diet drink.
That is prompting the Coca-Cola Company to start a new ad campaign, that defends its diet sodas.
Have you ever wondered what it is about diet sodas that make them so sweet and yet low in calories? Well the answer is aspartame.
“Aspartame is a sugar substitute that you would add to different foods, candies, cookies or pop and yes, according to the FDA it is safe to eat or drink,” explains Dietician Rita Sheldahl.
Although there is no scientific research that suggests artificial sweeteners are dangerous or can have negative health effects, there has been a buzz surrounding the fizzy drink.
The Coca-Cola Company is defending their products saying that, “low and no calorie sweeteners have shown to be safe high-quality alternatives to sugar.”
So if the artificial sweeteners are perfectly safe, why the need to defend in the first place?
“They are considered safe but we don’t know the long-term effects and there are a lot of different studies going around,” says Dietician Amy Kirchhoff.
Some people don’t mind chemical sweeteners, while others want to avoid it, and for the latter there are some healthier alternatives.
Kirchhoff thinks it’s best and easy to avoid them.
“Choose things like natural water that you can put lemon or real fruit juice in, you can buy products like metro mint that have real fruit juice in them as well. Unsweetened tea is a great one for beverages too,” she says.
Regardless of your preference, drinking diet soda beverages shouldn’t harm you unless you’re consuming excessive amounts.
“It takes a lot of aspartame to detrimental you use so little because it’s so concentrated,” says Sheldahl.
Even though studies have not shown links between diet sodas and significant health risks, sales numbers for diet soda have decreased and continue to fall.