I just got an email from our good friend, Jonny Bowden, with a link to his latest exchange in an ongoing ‘dialog’ with Big Soda about the inherent health detriment of pushing diet sodas on the public as if they were health food.
Some of you may be familiar with Jonny and may thus have seen it, but others may not have, so here it is for all.
His point, which I think the representative from Big Soda totally misses, is that humans through the millennia had no access to nor were we ever designed to consume large amounts of high intensity sweet on a regular basis and that doing so potentially carries consequences to long term health with it. Bombarding the taste buds throughout the day, day in and day out, year after year with ever increasing amounts of sweetness, whether from natural sources or from artificial sources, bumfuzzles (Now there’s a complex medical term for you!) the digestive and metabolic system.
There’s no doubt that digestive physiology is set into motion when an intensely sweet stimulus hits the sweet receptors on the anterior two thirds of the tongue. The body has to at least begin to prepare for what the taste buds tell it will be a whopping slug of carbohydrate to deal with and then the slug never comes. It would seem logical that there would be a consequence to that false signal and indeed there’s at least some research (as we wrote about in The Protein Power LifePlan) to suggest that to be the case,
whatever Big Soda thinks to the contrary.
Is the diet version of a given beverage better than an equivalent amount of HFCS-sweetened-flavored-carbonated beverage? Probably so. But, as with most things food related, quantity matters. A diet soda here and there probably isn’t going to hurt anyone, but a steady diet of 32-ounce mega cup after 32-ounce mega cup of it might be.
A better drink option, to our way of thinking, for rehabilitation of the besieged sweet receptors and metabolism (and I’m sure Jonny would agree) is a nice cup of tea, or a glass of slightly alkaline mineral water or even just plain, old, clean, filtered tap water.
Or a bottle of wine….