It was the Diet Coke getting his revenge… He knew what I was going to write about him. One minute I was grabbing three cans out of the laundry fridge for a Blog photo – the next, ‘Take this, lady!’ – he jumped out of my fingers and crashed to the floor.
I had no idea one can of Diet Coke held that much nasty fluid. Sticky stuff flew everywhere, and right up high on the opposite cupboards too, even though it’s hard to see from the photo. Great. That took at least half an hour to clean. And just when I was getting keen on the idea of blogging again too.
What really sparked this story was the hot summer weather. As many of you may know, I’ve been writing about going sugar-free this year – (apart from wine, of course) – and am always looking for fresh options to satisfy cravings for treats. So today I thought I’d take the quick and easy route, whip up some jelly and whack it in the fridge.
Even though the packet says ‘low calorie’, I checked the back nutrition panel for an ingredients check and was delighted to see ZERO sugar content. BUT all the chemicals listed did give me cause for concern.
Especially because a doctor friend was recently voicing an opinion that he believes aspartame and other chemical sweeteners are contributing to an increasing number of patients with neurological and immunological diseases – not to mention cancer and multiple sclerosis. Normally I just brush aside those concerns, but today I thought I might take a closer look.
So I reached for a small manual that hides away in a kitchen cupboard – the sort of thing you buy, intending to study up on and never do. It’s called ‘The Chemical Maze‘ by Bill Statham and is a really handy guide to all the potential risks posed by various additives and chemicals.
Well, smack me down with a wet fish if this didn’t accord with my doctor’s theories! Here’s what The Chemical Maze has to say about just two of the chemicals in Aeroplane Jelly:
952 CYCLAMATES, Cyclamic Acid: (artificial sweetener) – “Should be avoided by those with heart, circulation or liver problems: causes bladder cancer in rats, various skin conditions and migraines.” Nice.
955 SUCRALOSE (Splenda): (artificial sweetener) – “May lead to chronic neurological and immunological disorders; caused enlarged kidneys and liver in animals.”
Yikes. That sweet looking jelly doesn’t seem quite so appealing now… So what about Diet Coke? I ran to the laundry to grab a few cans and that’s when one of them chucked a tantrum and exploded, knowing full well I was going to diss him. Yep, sure enough, chock full of Aspartame. Described like this in my handy guide:
951 ASPARTAME (Nutrasweet, Equal): Potential health effects – Cancer, asthma, MS-like symptoms, headaches, hyperactivity, fatigue, anxiety, dizziness, migraine, memory loss, depression, insomnia, irritability, impotence, epilepsy, blindness, diabetes, seizures plus at least 80 others.
That does it. From now on, I am going to HAVE to ditch sugar substitutes AS WELL as sugar!!!!
From now on, my preferred cool drink on a sweltering day (apart from a damn fine chardonnay) will be a refreshing soda with fresh lime juice.
Sadly I went to my treats drawer in my office to ditch my supplies. I picked up my favourite Double D Sugar Free Butter Candy Drops and looked at the back of the packet, expecting to see another nasty list of ingredients. But no. The only suspect was ISOMALT.
Again I check The Chemical Maze.
953 ISOMALT: (Humectant artificial sweetener) – MAY CAUSE INTESTINAL GAS!!!
Oh joy! Now that’s one kind of explosion I CAN live with.