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Aspartame? Does anyone else enjoy it?

I like it. Not tolerate. Not, "If sugar didn't make me fat and give me cavities, I'd be drinking a coke. But I guess I can bear to drink this diet cola. Maybe my tears will sweeten it a little . . . " Not eating those devil cookies, because you have to watch your blood sugar.

There's something evil about the way it tastes. Something ghostly, sweet but poisonous. I like it. I don't think I could eat it in a cake or a brownie, but I really enjoy the "diet" drinks. I've even been experimenting with putting it in my own tea.


Nobody agrees. I've experimented with sucralose (Splenda) in desserts. I've had a lot people surprised that the sweetness comes from Splenda. I know several people that prefer saccharine (the pink packets) in their coffee. I made a mocha cheesecake recently; I steeped cream with coffee beans and sweetened it with saccharine and whipped the cream to top the (sucrose sweetened) cake. People were happy. People like sugar (sucrose) and honey (glucose and fructose). But I don't know anyone else that really enjoys the taste of aspartame. They tolerate it like they tolerate the other cars in traffic.


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  1. I'm honestly not sure. The only soda I keep are Diet Dr. Peppers, so it just may be that over time I've grown accustomed to the sweetener. Well, put it this way. I like it enough that I still view it as the occasional treat, but don't like it enough that I put it in other products.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ediblover

      The only one I can drink is Diet Dr Pepper as well! Absolutely despise aspartame in every other product (I've got mad skillz at spotting it) but can drink Diet Dr Pepper no problem.

    2. Pick me, pick me! I only drink diet soda (namely diet coke), not only because I can drink it in large quantities and not rot my teeth, but also because I like it. Yes, I like it! Most people I know are astounded when I tell them I like it (shock, horror!) and wouldn't rather be drinking regular coke. I haven't gone so far as to replace sugar with artifical sweetners in my baking, but I definitely prefer drinking diet sodas. To me regular sodas now taste like syrup and are just far too sweet for me.

      2 Replies
      1. re: TheHuntress

        Actually, you can rot your teeth because the phosphoric acid in soda is at least partly to blame for that, and it is present in diet sodas, esp colas. My dentist told me that college kids are always shocked to find they have cavities when the only soda they drink is diet. So watch those pearly whites....

        1. re: Isolda

          :) Yeah I thought of that as I wrote it. Then I chose to remain ignorant...because what I don't know can't hurt me, right?

      2. I don't know if I like it or not. I'm just addicted to it, that's all.

          1. re: Karl S

            LOL, it's funny you should mention that because cyclamates just popped into my head the other day; I couldn't taste the difference when I was a kid (Tab or Fizzies, anyone?).
            I personally hate all dietetic sugar substitutes, including stevia because I think they taste horrible. In addition, my mom's GI tract was a mess until I made my dad dump every NutraSweet-containing item in their kitchen. However--and this is weird--I really like Crystal Lite iced tea (the peach and raspberry flavors) although I dislike their non-tea offerings. I don't drink it anymore, though, because I suspect it's unhealthful, plus I brew my own kombucha now and use that as my go-to quaff.
            For those who don't actually like aspartame et al., Whey Low tastes EXACTLY like sugar because it is; it's a proprietary blend of various sugars combined in such a way as to confuse the body's digestive tract into only absorbing 25% of its (the Whey Low's) calories. The downside is that it's expensive but they're having a sale through 1/24/11; the coupon code is NEWYEAR. Tasting is believing!

            1. re: MacGuffin

              I have patients (I'm a neurologist) who I've cured totally their migraines by cutting out aspartame, which makes sense as it's a glutamate analog (like the much villified MSG). Crystal light, diet sodas and sugar-free sweets are all culprits. Splenda doesn't seem to bother people, and I don't have any patients using stevia yet (although I use it myself... I think it makes my coffee taste like whiskey, which isn't a bad thing).

              1. re: anthony.izzo

                LOL I can't stand coffee OR whiskey but your point is well-taken!
                Y'know, now that you mention it, I think Splenda was the culprit in my mom's case and I've since edited my comment to reflect that. Whichever it was, she's no longer experiencing the problem.

                1. re: anthony.izzo

                  I'm a migraine sufferer and artificial sweetners are definitely a trigger. Sadly, Splenda, Sucralose, Stevia all bother me too. I felt so vindicated when I watched Sweet Misery to see neurologist such as yourself speak to what I'd known for years. This stuff is poison and totally tweeks our brains! I'm actually relieved I have a sensitivity to it; I love that my body warns me to stay away from this poison!

                  1. re: joyfulmts

                    i agree with you on all the chemical sweeteners - sucralose, saccharin, aspartame, Ace-K, neotame (there are so many!) - but *pure* stevia leaf is an herb and doesn't belong in the same category.

                    aspartame used to trigger my migraines too - i haven't touched the stuff in probably 15 years. i always thought the chemicals had a strange taste/aftertaste...and i almost ended up in the ER a couple of times because i had such violent gastrointestinal reactions to Splenda.

                    1. re: joyfulmts

                      for me, stevia triggers headaches (not migraines, but normal headaches).

              2. I'm kinda 'hooked' on Splenda these days...Coke Zero is my 'poison' of choice...aspertame does have a distinct aftertaste to me.

                1 Reply
                1. re: DawneeBabe

                  For many years I drank diet drinks and used gum with Aspertame. Then, I developed some medical issues and I stopped using Aspertame altogether. When I want to take a break from sugar now, I use liquid Stevia both in drinks and in baking. I find the flavor is more subtle and it is not harsh on my body.

                2. Before I was diagnosed with diabetes, I wouldn't touch aspartame , or any other artificial sweetener, with a 10ft pole. It's been almost 4 years since I was diagnosed, and aspartame and its ilk have grown on me. I can't use it in the same concentrations I would use sugar, since it gets bitter if overused, but its ok for my cereal and my drinks. Took of sip of my hubby's Pepsi to see if I still feel the same way about sugared drinks, and it felt all syrupy to me.

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: Snozzberry

                    I was diagnosed w/ type 1 diabetes 12 yrs ago. I've been drinking diet soda ever since and I have a preference for aspartame sweetner. But 12 yrs of using it, it can definitely mess with your mind. Every once in a while I will order a soda and swear on my kids that it is regular coke. Only to have my kids or husband taste it and confirm that it's diet. Sometimes the aspartame sodas are overly sweet and I think weaken your ability to differentiate between the real thing and the artificially sweetened stuff.

                    I definitely prefer Equal over Splenda and the pink stuff.

                    1. re: lynnlato

                      I remember reading somewhere (quite recently) that artificial sweeteners trigger a similar insulin response to that of sugar.
                      I will try to find the article, and will report back...

                      1. re: The Professor

                        I know some have said that, but I don't see it. Maybe it's a Type 2 thing? I have a continuous glucose monitor and I don't see spikes later after having a diet soda or Equal in my tea. But I don't use much of it at all.

                        1. re: lynnlato

                          I'm type 2 and I haven't had issues with diet sodas spiking my sugar. But then, the amount used probably affects this.

                        2. re: The Professor

                          The link is unproven. If there's a more plausible, albeit more modest, argument to be made, it's merely that it habituates you to sweet tastes, and thereby makes you more desirous of them, and marginally increases your risk of non-compliance. But that's a prudential argument, not a medical or public policy argument.

                          1. re: Karl S

                            That makes sense.
                            Either way, I actually did consume aspartame sweetened drinks for a while. I stopped not because of the supposed blood sugar link, but more because of the information emerging about its safety as a food additive. I'm no conspiracy buff, but the whole testing and approval process for aspartame seems to have been a bit suspect.
                            So these days, I just use a bit of sugar when I need to, and bypass the chemical concoctions.

                        3. re: lynnlato

                          Go online for "aspartame" and afterwards see if you again wish to consume this poison.

                          1. re: beau10

                            beau10, I see people saying this all the time. I've looked into it and I've found not one bit of scientific proof that aspartame is bad for you in reasonable quantities. I found one that showed a rat developed cancer from aspartame. The problem with that study is that the rat had the human equivalent of over 2,000 cans of diet coke per day.

                            The only sites I see saying aspartame is a poison are showing no real scientific evidence and are mostly conspiracy websites. Now, I don't reject a theory just because it's a conspiracy theory, but I would like some genuine science to back it up.

                            1. re: BKK Brendan

                              I'm guessing that you dismiss "anecdotal" evidence. I used to go along with this thinking; now at my semi-advanced age I've come to realize that "anecdotal" evidence is something that actually happened to someone and is therefore more credible.

                              1. re: sandylc

                                I wouldn't say I reject anecdotal evidence immediately. I think if there's enough anecdotal evidence it warrants a more scientific study. Anecdotal evidence can be useful, but it is inherently flawed because the method for coming to a conclusion is flawed. For example, if someone who drinks Diet Coke daily gets cancer, you can't immediately draw a conclusion that it was because of the Diet Coke. If several people who drink Diet Coke daily get cancer, it suggests that we may need to do proper studies to see if there is a correlation between Diet Coke (or some ingredient in Diet Coke e.g. aspartame) and cancer.

                                These studies have been done multiple times in multiple countries and they always come up negative or inconclusive. It doesn't mean that aspartame can't cause cancer, it just means there's no proof out there yet.

                                My own anecdotal evidence supports that there is no connection between aspartame and health problems. I regularly drink Diet Coke, and so do many people in my circle of family and friends. None of them have any health problems that would likely be attributed to their Diet Coke drinking.

                                So, I don't dismiss anecdotal evidence. I just trust the scientific method more.

                                1. re: sandylc

                                  The problem with anecdotal evidence is that there is very often a blurring of datum and interpretation: people bring their assumptions and beliefs to bear, and cognitive bias plays a huge role in human thinking. Anecdotal evidence can of course be quite relevant to the extent it is sifted free of that.

                        4. Aspertame is just NOT good for you or your children. My doctor said that Stevia is best to take if dieting but if you don't like it (l don't) SPLENDA is the next best one. The ONLY soda that uses it is DIET RITE (made by the oldest soda company - Dr. Pepper. l LOVE it, once you try it you will be hooked too .....and after a few, all other diet or regular sodas will taste like colored water. As far as drinks made with powders etc. the only company that uses Splenda is the 4-C company. l read all diet labels and only buy the brand that uses Splenda other than Aspertame or Saccahrin. Danie Huizenga - Gulfport, Florida

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Danie Huizenga

                            Coca Cola and Pepsi both have a splenda-sweetened diet version available nationwide.

                            1. re: Danie Huizenga

                              Hansen's Diet sodas also contain Splenda.

                              1. re: OCSteve

                                So does Blue Sky and they both taste great ;)

                              2. re: Danie Huizenga

                                I really like the Diet Rite cola product. I'm pregnant, so I limit myself to one per day as a treat. I'm a diet soda junkie, and my doc said the Splenda wasn't quite as bad as other artificial sweeteners, plus the DR has no caffeine. I bought a Soda Stream recently, and have since switched to seltzer, but still enjoy that one DR a day.

                              3. Ditto -- addicted -- to diet cola -- the caffeine, artificial ingredients -- quite a synthetic, chemical brew! My "poison" of choice is a retro pick -- Tab -- still available. I prefer it to Diet Coke. What are they putting in these things to make them addictive?? That can't be good, but I'm hooked..

                                1. Interesting....
                                  We have rehab, and treatment centers for crack....I wonder if I can get enough investors together......

                                  1. I agree. Soda made with sugar/corn syrup is far too sweet and has a horrible mouthfeel. I do get tired of others complaining about how people order large burgers and fries with a diet soda as if the lack of calories will negate the rest. no, it's because of the taste.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Larikatz

                                      ya mean that the sensation of having your teeth feel like they are wearing sweaters doesn't appeal to you ?. . . ..

                                      1. I do think Aspartame is evil...I have no scientific evidence except for my own observations of how it makes me feel. Actually, I can't remember how it feels as I've probably not had it for 10 years -- no regular Diet Coke, no sugarless gum...It's a pain in the neck and the wallet to seek out sugarfree, non-Aspartame products. It's a bit better now with Splenda & other more "natural" sugar substitutes but it's not an equal playing field. IMNSHO, aspartame is addictive. Ever watched people chug Diet Cokes, one after another? Rarely do I see other sodas get consumed with such vigor. This is a soapbox of mine, thanks for addressing it....

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: melinna

                                          Oh, I don't know...I've been known to chug rather impressive amounts of soda (it's a wonder my pancreas hasn't charged me with attempted murder). Fortunately, I don't have a weight problem but I don't buy it much these days. I still drink a lot of it at parties, though.

                                          1. re: melinna

                                            There IS scientific evidence. I did a report on it many years ago in college and learned that rats got brain cancer from it...and I STILL drink upwards of 8-10 a day; have for 28 years. There are other threads on this, and there are a lot of conspiracy theories out there too, which I can't help but subscribe too to some extent, involving the relationship between Rumsfeld and the FDA in getting the stuff approved.


                                            Edit: as I write this, I'm drinking a Diet Pepsi Wild Cherry, which I truly believe is the devil's drink. And I can't get enough of it ever since it came on the market.

                                            1. re: tatamagouche

                                              There was science involved in that experiment, but common sense wasn't. The "scientists" in the study fed the mice a ridiculous amount of aspartame. The human equivalent came to over 100+ servings a day.

                                              Somewhat off-topic. When I used to drink soda more often, once in a while some would have this disgusting medicine taste. I always wondered what the source of it was. I'd guess maybe too much heat exposure during transport. Maybe some sweetener that some people tasted differently.

                                              1. re: ediblover

                                                Well, that's far from the only study, but agreed that there's scientific as well as anecdotal evidence on both sides. Still, I don't trust the stuff as far as I can throw it—which I'd never do, because that would be a waste of my drug of choice.

                                                1. re: ediblover

                                                  "There was science involved in that experiment, but common sense wasn't. The "scientists" in the study fed the mice a ridiculous amount of aspartame. The human equivalent came to over 100+ servings a day."

                                                  I think that was Sweet n Low (Saccharin). But either way, the "science" can be twisted in either direction. The truth is we don't know - hell, the toothpaste you brush your teeth with my cause cancer. The plastic containers or wraps are now said to have adverse effects on our health. We don't know one way or the other - just as we don't for many things.

                                                  This has been an interesting and funny thread to read. Especially the below posts. Thanks for the laughs, y'all. :-)

                                              2. re: melinna

                                                If you watch the documentary Sweet Misery you'll see there is scientific evidence it is toxic to our bodies.

                                              3. I purchase Great Value sweetener (aspartame) and use it in my iced tea, but it didn't pass the coffee test. I had run out of sugar (before I realized brown sugar works very nicely) and it was horrible. I had to throw it out.

                                                I usually buy regular sweetened soda, but I find those sweened with aspartame satisfactory. Any other sweetener than sugar tastes terrible. If I had a choice between diet Coke or Pepsi, I'd drink water.

                                                1. The Splenda diet drinks are just okay --- I like Hansen's. I am allergic to aspartame. It gives me a high-pitched ringing sound in my ears and I feel spacey within 10-15 minutes. Even if someone slips me a Nutrasweet soda without my knowledge I know within minutes. My mother is a diabetic and was using a lot of aspartame. She had neurological symptoms to the degree that her doctor suspected a brain tumor and did a bunch of tests. My sister, who is a physician assistant, took her off all the aspartame and she has been fine since. I live with her now, and do nearly all the cooking. We are using erythritol and agave syrup (mostly for baking and making sugar-free jams, etc.) in addition to Splenda, which my mother uses in her tea and on her cereal. Erythritol is great in sodas if you can find it. Sobe uses it in their drinks. It is expensive. I have been ordering it from Lucky Vitamin since Emerald Forest stopped shipping anything but the little packets. It is half the price online than it is at health food stores and in special sections at the supermarket ($13.00 is average in the latter). It is granular and works well in baked goods because it has the same texture as sugar and also browns. It tastes a lot like sugar, with a very slight minty zing like xylitol. It is an alcohol sugar, but does not have nearly the effect on the digestive tract (i.e. diarrhea) that other alcohol sugars like mannitol have, I am hoping the price comes down, but until then, I am using it mainly for baking and jam making. Give it a try.

                                                  1. For me, artificial sweeteners in general, and aspartame in particular, have a distinctly unpleasant taste and aftertaste. It doesn't matter what they put it in, if it is an artificial sweetener I can taste (and aftertaste) it. Even the natural ones like stevia taste nasty to me. This includes sugar-stevia blends like Sun Crystals.

                                                    1. Well, I guess we have heard from Monsanto and Coke on how great their products are. No need to worry about aspartame's effect on our health now that we know that aspartame insures the financial health of so many pop companies.

                                                      1. Does anyone else enjoy it? What?!!! If you want sweet eat fruit or use honey, syrup and a minimum of sugar. Seriously, it is crap. Bad for you. And remember just awful for the palate. Yuck.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: spm

                                                          I enjoy it in my diet soda. I find its taste light, crisp and refreshing. I love diet coke. As far as being bad for me, show me real scientific evidence. I am so sick of being told how bad it is, please.

                                                          1. re: mrs.corgi

                                                            +1. Looking something up on the internet is NOT the same thing as fact-finding. Never have we had so much absurd advice from so many quacks as we have access to now.

                                                            None of it can compare to a cold, crisp glass of iced tea with no sweetener in it at all and it's a hell of a lot better for you.

                                                        2. Ugh. I hate it. I can't drink diet sodas even though I'm fat. I much prefer water over that awful diet sick sweet taste (I do love regular soda, I just don't drink it much). .

                                                          On the other hand, I kind of know what you mean. My grandmother used to use some cheap kind of tub oleo that was totally fake and nasty tasting but I loved it.

                                                          1. Years ago, I was hooked on Splenda too! I used ridiculous amounts of it on everything, to a point I used to purchase it in bulk. I used it in my cakes, in caramel type sauces, as popcorn topping etc. I thought that it tasted very much like sugar, and I could satisfy my sweet cravings with much fewer calories. I also found the chemical aftertaste in the pink aspartame packets distracting too.

                                                            Well, all of a sudden I found myself suffering from unexplained headaches on a regular basis, and it probably also coincided with me reading more about Splenda. At the point I just decided to stop using it altogether, even gave away the remaining boxes I had. Never gone back since.

                                                            1. I have tried every sweetener I can think of and I hate them all except for sugar, maple syrup, molasses, and honey. Every single one of them, including corn syrup, has an aftertaste that I can't stand. And most are way too sweet. Sugar has a lot less sweetening power than any artificial sweetener.

                                                              I was able to tolerate saccharine in college, but then I OD'd on it and can't go near that or aspartame.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: Isolda

                                                                Volcanic Nectar blue agave nectar is nice but quite fruity due to its high fructose content. Wholesome Sweeteners has an all-natural light corn syrup that might taste better than Karo but having never tried it I can't vouch for it; they also make a very good blackstrap molasses that I like and keep on hand.
                                                                I like cane syrup a lot--it's kind of like an ultra-light molasses. My go-to brand is Carson Ann but Steen's is probably the most popular brand and as such is readily available (I think Dean and Deluca carry it at an exorbitant price).

                                                                1. re: Isolda

                                                                  Isolda, have you tried coconut palm sugar?

                                                                2. I've drunk diet sodas with aspartame so long I don't like regular soda. Do I like aspartame? Sure! I love Vernor's Diet Ginger Ale with aspartame. Extremely good. No caffeine, no calories, no sugar, no sodium. But honestly quite good.

                                                                  1. You better do a lot more homework before you continue to push aspartame. The only reason this poison is available is that during the FDA trial/presentation Searle bought off the opposing US Attorney with a job at Searle. This crap is poison and should never be injected into anyone - especially a child.

                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                    1. re: beau10

                                                                      <This crap is poison and should never be injected into anyone - especially a child.>

                                                                      People inject aspartame? That does sound like a bad idea. And it's a little silly, seeing as how you can't taste anything with your veins.

                                                                      1. re: small h

                                                                        Yeah, but as an addict, the very thought gives me a strange thrill.

                                                                        1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                          Pardon me a moment while I slap the inside of my elbow repeatedly and then shotgun a Tab. Ok. Now, what were you saying? Addict! Yes. Right.

                                                                          I haven't had a soda in forever, but now I kind of want one.

                                                                          1. re: small h

                                                                            I think I'll have a scotch instead and leave you needle freaks to yourselves...

                                                                      2. re: beau10

                                                                        September '07 issue of "Critical Reviews in Toxicology" had a panel of expert from 10 universities conclude that it's safe.

                                                                        In April of '09 Experts at the Harvard School of Public Health, in a paper about combating obesity and sugary drinks, recommended aspartame, sucralose and stevia as part of the solution.

                                                                        Decades of science says aspartame is fine. If you choose to chase and obey speculations, that's fine, but you shouldn't present them to others as facts.

                                                                        1. re: ediblover

                                                                          Hey, I'm not *looking* for the cause of my own demise. As I've said repeatedly, I drink upwards of 10 cans a day. Drinking one now. Pretty much every time I've ever logged into the boards over the course of my 10 year history on Chowhound, I've been "drinking one now."

                                                                          So if It really is safe, beautiful! I'm a picture of health!

                                                                        2. re: beau10

                                                                          Could you cite your source for this information?

                                                                          No one is forcing you to like aspartame. The OP merely was interested in whether any of us actually liked it.

                                                                          1. re: beau10

                                                                            The only reason this poison is available is that during the FDA trial/presentation Searle bought off the opposing US Attorney with a job at Searle.

                                                                            I never even realized the US Attorney was part of the FDA approval process.

                                                                            Thanks! I learn something new everyday it seems.

                                                                          2. I like it just fine. I don't have that much of a sweet tooth, but like I said, sure, I like it. I like Splenda, too, Splenda seems a little bit too sickeningly sweet for me in general, but I think it's fine. Stevia is REALLY sweet, and what I'm leading up to is this-
                                                                            I even liked saccharine. I wish Tab Energy was still available, it was my idea of a perfect energy drink. Hell, I even liked Tab. Guess I'm not a big saccharine taster, or bitter taster or something.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: EWSflash

                                                                              I've noticed that a number of UK-produced soft drinks, even those that contain sugar, also contain saccharine and let me tell you, they taste disgusting (which is why I pay strict attention to ingredients if I'm considering a drink from the UK--Fentimans is a notable exception. It's even in Henderson's Relish, which is something like Worcestershire sauce but vegan. Someone needs to tell them that WWII is over.

                                                                            2. This whole thread is making me sick. Honestly, sugar substitutes are so nauseating to me that I get sick just thinking about their horrible taste. Your "ghostly, sweet but poisonous" description certainly fits it. The stuff is like an evil, undead version of sugar, an abomination of everything that is good. Comparing aspartame to sugar is like comparing that horribly bitter "Toxic Waste" kids candy to a gourmet chocolate truffle.

                                                                              I would most definitely drink iced water before anything with a substitute in it. If it was in a dessert, I would rather go without.

                                                                              There is a reason that it tastes so bad -- your brain is telling you the stuff is not right. There is a reason we are programmed to like sweet tastes. I know I am not going to question evolution, though I do it in moderation.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: slopfrog

                                                                                Thankfully we're free to eat and drink what we like. But if you're pancreas were dead and didn't produce insulin and you might have a diet soda or a sugar-free Twizzler now and then. I'd much rather avoid artifically sweetened food and drinks but sometimes I just have a hunkerin' and I will satisfy that craving with a can of Diet Coke or the aforementioned SF Twizzlers.

                                                                              2. I cannot start the day without at least one Diet Coke

                                                                                In fact, I can barely end the day without at least one Diet Coke.

                                                                                I don't "enjoy" it so much as I "need" it.

                                                                                And, yes, you don't need to tell me. My brain is turning into mush, right?

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                  I definitely can't start the day without at least one Diet Coke either. I have one when I get out of bed and another on the way to work - I like to think it's in the best interests of my patients.

                                                                                2. I probably go through 6 individual packets of splenda a day--because I put it in my coffee and tea... and I would estimate I probably make a hot beverage at least 3 times a day. That being said I do feel guilty. I feel like I am giving myself cancer.

                                                                                  Also I go through a 2 liter of pop in a day--either Diet Root Beer or Diet Orange. I used to drink more of the 'Coke' type products, but I didn't think I needed additional caffeine.

                                                                                  Sometimes, I take toast and put splenda and cinnamon on it and pretend it is a cinnamon roll. That probably sounds pathetic, but it works for breakfast sometimes.

                                                                                  Moral of the story, I eat/drink a lot of Splenda, and obviously I am shortening my life, but everyone has cancer in my family anyway. I might as well be a skinny cancer victim.

                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: GraceW

                                                                                    You know you could always use sugar instead of Splenda, and then resign yourself to diabetes.

                                                                                    If you are truly worried about shortening your life, why not just ease off the sodas and Splenda packets?

                                                                                    Too much soda, I have been told by a dentist, can erode tooth enamel.

                                                                                    But I admit I drink the stuff.

                                                                                    1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                      Too much soda, I have been told by a dentist, can erode tooth enamel.
                                                                                      yes, but the phosphoric acid is the culprit there, and you'll find it in sugar-sweetened colas as well, it's not specific to diet drinks.

                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                        A reply to both the sugar/splenda/soda comments, yes I think I am easing off splenda because I do not think I can actually taste it in my coffee. I think it tastes just as black with or without it. It is probably by habit that I put it in, not for taste. So I will try to leave it out.

                                                                                        But in reality: when I die, I know my food choices did me in. So it is really ok; whenever it happens, it happens. At 23, I am at peace with death whenever it occurs--it is not worth worrying about because so many chemicals, ingredients, and seemingly 'food' but in reality 'poison' items are consumed by me daily. I have wanted to go raw for years, but cannot. I cook eggs in the microwave and pretty much all things--which is probably swallowing radiation--so I am at peace with it. I ate my death regularly; when it is ready, it will eat me as well.

                                                                                        1. re: GraceW

                                                                                          No one lives forever.

                                                                                          While you are still living, might as well eat what you enjoy.

                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                            I don't want to lecture anyone because not only is what you eat your own business (plus this thread is supposed to be about taste, not nutrition) but I suggest that death is the least of your worries because obviously it's where we're all headed. Your quality of life, however, is both current and eventual: yes, enjoying what you eat now is important and makes for a pleasurable quality of life but finding yourself in middle or old age stroked-out with a heart condition, diabetes (with possible amputations), vascular failure, cancer or some such horror due to earlier lifestyle choices does not. Granted, you could live a LONG time like that with proper attention to diet, therapy to overcome partial paralysis, surgery, and lots of expensive drugs, but isn't it something to be considered before it occurs? Let's face it--it's unrealistic to think that you make bad choices and then just painlessly drop dead at a ripe old, or even relatively young, age. I don't think most people are that lucky.

                                                                                            1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                              Let's face it--it's unrealistic to think that you make bad choices and then just painlessly drop dead at a ripe old age. I don't think most people are that lucky.

                                                                                              Or, I could just get shot in the head tomorrow meeting my congressperson at a local grocery store.

                                                                                              But whatever. You're assuming that aspartame is somehow more detrimental to my health than any other thing that I am consuming -- like Twinkies, potato chips, fried foods, ice cream, HFCS, saturated fats, gobs of sodium at every meal, alcohol, etc.

                                                                                              I'm not here to convince you or anyone else that aspartame is good or bad, and with all due respect, neither should you.

                                                                                              I don't make food choices in the hopes of living an extra day of life. I make food choice that make me happy ... today. Because, like I said, up above, life is fleeting. I could get shot tomorrow in the head. And all that abstinence would've gone for naught.

                                                                                              Enjoy what you eat and eat what you enjoy.


                                                                                        2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                          This is true. It is probably better to be very moderate in consumption of any soda.

                                                                                      2. re: GraceW

                                                                                        "Moral of the story, I eat/drink a lot of Splenda, and obviously I am shortening my life, but everyone has cancer in my family anyway. I might as well be a skinny cancer victim"

                                                                                        But, the important thing is, you don't have it. If cancer is so prevailent in your family, why not try your best to avoid foods & additives that might contribute to cancer?

                                                                                        Heart attacks, strokes & cancer, have shortened the lives of my Father, Mother, Grandmothers, 3 Aunties & 3 uncles. I'm the only one on my Mothers side, that has lived long enough to celebrate turning 64. I'm hoping I'll live a lot longer too. I have 6 grandkids I'd like to enjoy time with, things I still want to see and do. But, if I don't think positive & try my best to eat & drink healthy, I probably won't.

                                                                                        You sound as though you've accepted your fate before you even know what your fate will be. Don't give in to those thoughts so easily. Help yourself. Think positive thoughts. Change your eating & drinking habits to something more healthy. Only you can do whats good for you.

                                                                                        1. re: Joyfull

                                                                                          In this rare case, I am aware I will die of other causes before I have (the unfortunate) chance of getting cancer. I do my best to enjoy what I have but in fact, yes, I have accepted my fate, because I must.

                                                                                      3. I hate all sugar substitutes. They taste foul, like poisen, and are super sweet. Gross. I won't leer my kids touch them.

                                                                                        1. I slightly prefer Splenda to Aspartame for sweetening beverages, but since Splenda remains sweet when heated, where Aspartame isn't suitable for cooking, I buy the former. Both have some aftertaste that can leave a bitter finish, but that can me masked with just a tiny amount of real sugar, honey, or agave nectar. For a 10 oz mug of coffee, I use an eighth tsp sugar and a packet of Splenda. I tried both Sweetleaf and truvia, and found they had too minty a finish.
                                                                                          I suspect that some of the headache complaints from drinkers of diet colas reflect the amount of caffeine consumed more than the type of sweetener.

                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: greygarious

                                                                                            Oh, I'd have to take exception to that. With the exception of a diuretic effect, I'm pretty much impervious to the effects of caffeine and all things considered, drink a LOT of (non-diet) cola. I was given some nuts to review for Amazon that, unbeknownst to me when I popped them in my mouth, were sweetened with Splenda and in addition to that yecchy aftertaste, I soon had a raging headache...coincidence? I think not. :O~~ (I call that a "vomiticon.")
                                                                                            I'd also point out that a number of aspirin formulations (Anacin springs to mind) contain caffeine, which would be counterintuitive for a headache remedy.

                                                                                            1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                              From the first result in a random google search: "Caffeine additives make pain relievers 40% more effective in treating headaches. Caffeine also helps the body absorb headache drugs more quickly, bringing faster relief." I suppose it depends on the cause of the headache as well, but if it's caffeine withdrawal, it probably helps even more!

                                                                                              1. re: LisaPA

                                                                                                LOL but is there actually such a thing as caffeine withdrawal? I drink cola because I like it but I don't drink it (or anything else that's caffeinated) all the time and don't feel any different one way or the other.

                                                                                                1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                  but is there actually such a thing as caffeine withdrawal?
                                                                                                  there sure is. but you said that you don't consume caffeine on a regular basis, and withdrawal usually only occurs in habitual users whose bodies have become accustomed to a steady supply.

                                                                                                  people also respond to it differently. too much makes me extremely shaky & jittery, and since my body metabolizes it very slowly i can't really have it later than 3 or 4 pm or i'll be lying awake all night. meanwhile, my father can drink a cup of coffee right before bed and pass out like a log.

                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                    Every morning at around 10 a.m. I experience caffeine withdrawal, unless I've had my can of Diet Coke at 9:45 a.m.

                                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                      Does it involve DTs, shakes, headaches...?

                                                                                          2. i'm with you on this one! CVS (gold emblem) makes a sparkling water flavored with aspartame, and all of the flavors are absolutely delicious, and super sweet! it's just as bad as drinking soda, but i find it to be a little less syrupy than soda.

                                                                                            1. Avoid it like a disease. Would only drink diet soda if I was on a volcanic island without a water source. I don't drink soda at all. Anyone concerned about good health and nutrition should know better. A bit preachy but when I observe parents giving it to their children I cringe. I have seen second grade children take pastries and diet red bull from their bags for an afternoon snack. That story still makes me laugh.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: CCSPRINGS

                                                                                                  Amen. I only drink soda when they've thrown 6 in to my pizza order and I lose some of my good judgement. I drink one, then the other 5 sit around in my refridgerator for months before I finally open and pour them down the drain.

                                                                                                  Also, aspartame gives me a weird brain buzz. It's hard to describe, but it's like there's a fine layer of cotton being laid over my brain after I drink anything containing the stuff. I'll stick to sugar, but only in very low amounts. Mostly.

                                                                                                2. I find that aspertame and splenda both trigger sugar cravings for me. Plus I don't like their taste. So I drink very lemony unsweetened ice tea.

                                                                                                  1. I grew up with my mother sharing stories about WWII and being occupied by the Germans. They had to eat saccharine and margarine because there was no sugar or oil (or much of anything by the end of the war) and they were terribly hungry. She has never understood why people would eat "ersatz" when they could choose to eat real food--good food.

                                                                                                    Personally, I don't believe any of the fake sweeteners are "ok" for our health. They taste bad for a reason. Everything in our world is so polluted that you can't avoid being poisoned by something in the air, water or food, but I'm trying not to hasten the cancer along by eating crap.

                                                                                                    Bring on the sugar, honey, chocolate, butter, cream and wine. (Moderately.)

                                                                                                    1. Uhhh..just 'glanced' through the responses..."It's Evil"..."It's Fine"....I gotta think it's more about two separate issues..do you like the taste of aspartame ..or...do you presieve it as detrimental to your health?...I personally find it leaves a distnct unpleasant aftertaste..while Splenda products don't. I figure it's all about body chemistry...like..Kosher salt or sea salt tastes good to me..plain table salt is 'nasty'....it's what my taste buds signal to me....Is ANY sugar subtitute 'good' for me?...remains to be seen. I don't use much but I enjoy my Coke Zero more than a full sugar Coke.

                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                          I suspected Rumsfeld was to blame all along! ;-)

                                                                                                          Who can argue that the FDA and all the other regulatory agencies are completely corrupt? Certainly not I. I trust all those dudes about as far as I can throw them.

                                                                                                          Sadly GHG, as I type this, I'm sipping on a Coke Zero. Even though I know better, I can't say "no".

                                                                                                          1. re: lynnlato

                                                                                                            you're killing me - doesn't Zero *also* contain Ace-K? yikes.

                                                                                                            there should be a 12-step program for people with soda addictions ;)

                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                              It does, BUT I exercise every day, eat lots of fruits and veggies AND I don't smoke! Ooh, and I floss my teeth. Come on, give me some good health credit! ;-)

                                                                                                              "My name is lynnlato and I'm a functional diet soda drinker."

                                                                                                              1. re: lynnlato

                                                                                                                LOL! you sound like my old personal training clients: "i know i wasn't supposed to have cheesecake for dinner but at least i went to the gym first."

                                                                                                                at least in your case i understand what drove you to start using the artificial crap in the first place...that's the only reason i didn't slap the Splenda packet out of your hand when i saw you adding it to your coffee last month ;)

                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                  Ha!!! I'm doing better, GHG, really I am. And yep, I never touched any of the artificial stuff before my diagnosis. And it took me quite a while to tolerate the after taste - now, for the most part, I can't tell the difference.

                                                                                                                  My next big health frontier will be eliminating artifical sweetener. I just can't tackle it just yet... give me time. :)

                                                                                                        2. i don't get the point of artificial sweetener at all, but i know so many people must enjoy it or why would they buy it; personally, i prefer the taste of no sugar (although i prefer to have it) than artificial sugar

                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                            I'm a Type II diabetic (recovering and off any meds) and don't want to mess with my blood sugar with refined sugar; ergo, the hunt for an artificial sweetener. I have settled upon stevia, which comes from a plant and has zero affect on blood sugar. I once consumed aspartame until watching a Dr. Oz's television episode which described the adverse effects of aspartame and its nefarious history. Check-out aspartame online for more information.
                                                                                                            Many processed-food manufacturers are advertising on their packages "no aspartame" - so aspartame's bad reputation is growing and is becoming a known poison.

                                                                                                            1. re: beau10

                                                                                                              yeah stevia is the way to go as far as substitutes are concerned; I recently heard that Coke is switching to cane syrup now instead of HFCS? Just like "mexican coke" they plan on making the change everywhere

                                                                                                              1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                So maybe the cane syrup will be called "high fructose CANE sugar" - six of one, half-dozen of the other still screws badly with your blood sugar. I was reading some stats re consumption of sugar in the '60s compared to today - about 3 times as much now and in direct proportion to beaucoup disease increase.

                                                                                                                1. re: beau10

                                                                                                                  "the other still screws badly with your blood sugar"
                                                                                                                  I'd rather my blood sugar be the only thing screwed with, not to mentioned it tastes a lot better (the point of drinking cola for me anyway); that coke i have once in a blue moon is not going to affect my health anymore than the cup of coffee i have with cane sugar every morning

                                                                                                                  Also, experts (I'm not an expert) say that REAL sugar is processed in the pancreas where it's supposed to and HFCS in the liver where it's not supposed to; don't take my word for it though, look it up

                                                                                                                2. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                  I always found that Mexican Coke and the kosher-for-Passover yellow-cap Coke taste much better than the regular stuff. Am very glad to hear they're getting off the HFCS.

                                                                                                                  And cane syrup doesn't need to be chemically manipulated the way HFCS does; all you have to do is boil down sugarcane juice to concentrate it and separate out the molasses.

                                                                                                                  Contrary to what the industry-produced press campaigns claim, there are reliable scientific studies (including one from Princeton) which indicate that HFCS does indeed act quite differently on living organisms than sugar does.

                                                                                                                  1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                                                                                    you're preaching to the choir indeed ;)

                                                                                                                    Most importantly it TASTES better as you wrote. The only reason I would ever drink Coke is for the taste.

                                                                                                            2. Here's a link to a letter written by Dr. Betty Martini of Mission Possible International to the New Zealand Food Safety Authority, in response to a press release they issued, trying to reassure New Zealanders that aspartame was safe.

                                                                                                              It contains some disturbing facts (with links to evidence) about the stuff itself and about how, after first being rejected outright, it was eventually approved despite all objective studies, by accepting only results bought and paid for by those who stood to profit from its approval. Read the first dozen paragraphs and you'll be shocked. Read the next dozen or so and you'll be horrified. There's a little more science and detail here than in the link posted upthread.
                                                                                                              This isn't webnut conspiracy theory; the proof is documented and available in the public domain (just not from the FDA).


                                                                                                              To this day, of all food additives that the FDA receives frequent complaints about, guess what tops the list? Hint: it's both a powerful carcinogen and a potent neurotoxin, and countless millions of Americans dose themselves unknowingly day after day, trusting that it's safe.

                                                                                                              As Dr Martini stated in her letter, the U.S. FDA used to keep an archive of complaints regarding aspartame, including the various symptoms associated with it. When the toll exceeded 10,000 complaints in 1995, FDA halted this archive and today denies it ever existed. Here it is on FDA stationery: http://www.wnho.net/92_aspartame_symp...

                                                                                                              It's also true that the incidence of brain cancer in the US increased markedly shortly after aspartame came onto the market and has not subsided. An internist I know says that thousands of Americans are exhibiting symptoms of MS, yet testing negative for the disease, because their condition is due to aspartame neurotoxicity.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                                                                                Wasn't the point of the OP to determine whether or not anyone thinks aspartame tastes good? I doubt anyone thinks it's actually healthful.

                                                                                                                1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                  Aye, MacGuffin, you're right. Lost the sense of the original post by the time I'd read through the thread.

                                                                                                                  Then again, propylene glycol tastes good too, and it'll kill ya.

                                                                                                              2. Do not eat artificial sweeteners. Train your tastebuds to enjoy less sweetness. Then eat a (much) smaller amount of cane sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, etc.

                                                                                                                I have not had a soft drink in over 30 years. I did take a sip of one a few years ago and it was so overbearingly sweet and salty that I was amazed.

                                                                                                                Truly, once you have completely weaned yourself off of chemicals and excessive sweetness, they will taste bad to you. Proof that you can become accustomed to and even like some astonishing things.

                                                                                                                I'm not trying to sound snotty about it; I have consumed my fair share of too-sweet, chemical foods in my life. I am simply MUCH happier/healthier now since I stopped doing so. Real food tastes better and a little bit of sweetness goes a long way.

                                                                                                                1. There must be some pro cyclists who think it tastes good. I noticed several cans of diet Coke in the pro peloton lately (think it was the Vuelta a Espana). Surely these guys need as many carbs as they can get, so it must have been for taste ?

                                                                                                                  My story: I was still in college when Aspartame was invented. I got a free pack of Nutra Sweet orange drink in the mail, made the pitcher, and drank some a few mornings in a row. threw up every morning. was getting REALLY worried until a friend gave me one of the brand new diet cokes later that week and I threw up. Put two and two together and was very relieved to merely be allergic to Aspartame.

                                                                                                                  1. No problem. I love the stuff, all drinks caffiene free, I do have problems with artificial sweeteners in candy, but that's a no-brainer. My sister actually liked cyclamates. Yuk.

                                                                                                                    1. It scares me. I haven't had it in years, not that I didn't consume my share back in the day. In fact I avoid all artificial sweeteners.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: LynneLynne

                                                                                                                        I think that sums it up for me too. As artificial sweeteners go, the taste isn't bad, and as I mentioned in an earlier post, I used it for a while.

                                                                                                                        But the reports of inadequate testing of the stuff when the product was approved is really off-putting and as a result, I stay away from he fake sweeteners.
                                                                                                                        In the end, sugar is probably a "health food" compared to that stuff.

                                                                                                                      2. The aftertaste of aspartame and its evil brother acesulfame (that awful American spelling!) prevent me from drinking most "soft" drinks, pushing me onto expensive fruit juices and alcoholic ones - but now even some ciders are now poisoned with one or other of the terrible twins.

                                                                                                                        I seem to remember some 30 years ago being pleasantly surprised that cyclamate sweetener combined with saccharin was acceptable but it vanished many years ago from most commercial 'soft' drinks.