When a client of mine comes in complaining of chronic headaches, I typically blame tight traps, stress, dehydration, lack of sleep or excessive drinking.
However, a few times over the years they’ve been busted indulging in daily diet sodas. (Gasp!) Since I’m no fan of aspartame, I bribe them to quit with free sessions. And wouldn’t you know it–the headaches cease! Brilliant, I say!
After an initial brief google search, I found out that the FDA approved aspartame for use in certain dry foods in 1981 and for soft drinks in 1983. I never knew how many of our “foods” are laced with this chemical! From candies, chewing gum and breath mints, to yogurt, protein powder and certain ketchup, I nearly passed out at the prevalence in our everyday foods! I couldn’t believe the scary personal stories I came across, too! Hundreds of articles pertaining to people suffering from aspartame-sensitivity, blaming their symptoms of migraines, joint pain, restless leg syndrome, “brain fog”, seizures, grogginess, loss of focus, dizzy spells, and anxiety on this chemical. Some sources even claim that diet sodas encourage weight gain!
Several times in the past year while lurking on Facebook, I’ve noticed a quitting trend catching on. My friend Shirley C. says her headaches were tremendous. She drank 2, sometimes 4 Diet Cokes every.single.day. Last July, after constant badgering by her husband (bless him), Shirley kicked her nasty habit to the curb…and guess what? No more headaches, no more “brain fog!” In fact, she recalls chewing sugarless gum a couple times since July and that killer headache? Back with a vengeance! But the true icing on the cake? Shirley has lost more than 40 pounds. Believe it!!!
My recommendation? Quit! While studies show that aspartame may not cause cancer, there are certain health concerns associated with it! Instead, READ LABELS! Drink sodium-free sparkling water and add a dash of your favorite fruit juice! Sweeten your coffee with agave nectar! Instead of NutraSweet, substitute with honey or maple syrup! There are so many alternatives to that chemical!