Recently, I’ve developed and obsession with Crystal Light. I figure it’s because I’m always so thirsty when I’m pregnant and I get sick of plain water. Tonight, after drinking about 2 quarts of Crystal Light in one sitting, it occurred to me Crystal Light might contain artificial sweetener. (I know…not the brightest crayon in the box, right?) Sure enough, 3rd ingredient on the list, aspartame. Crap. I vaguely remember something about avoiding artificial sweeteners during pregnancy, but can’t remember exactly why. I’m pretty sure the research is controversial, right? With that convenient doubt in mind I sit down, Crystal Light in hand, to do a little internet research on the topic. Much to my dismay, I’m going to have to give up the Crystal Light. As I read further, my dismay becomes shock, followed by horror. I absolutely can not believe what I’m reading. And it doesn’t seem like the research is very controversial at all. In fact, I can’t seem to find much defending what Dr. Janet Hull has cleverly dubbed “sweet poison.” Apparently, artificial sweeteners are “the common denominator for over 92 different health symptoms at the root of modern disease.” What’s scarier is children are particularly sensitive to its side effects. Additionally, “giving sugar-free chemicals to your children or using them during pregnancy may be harmful to a child’s emotional and physical maturation and to the normal development of a fetus.”
I’m not one to jump on bandwagons or advocate or boycott something because it’s the trendy thing to do. That being said, I’m seriously disturbed by what I discovered tonight. While I’m not sure that I’ll begin an aspartame detox program (Yes, they exist and apparently have cured everything from ADHD to cancer.), I am positive that neither I nor my boys will be eating or drinking anything sweetened with any chemical sweetener ever again. You know, if I were a conspiracy theorist I could come up with a pretty good one about this. You know, something like government covering up the dangers of aspartame leading to increased illness leading to big money for pharmaceutical companies. And don’t even get me started on my opinions on the pharmaceutical industry… Wait. Stop. Before I climb onto an entirely different soap box let me just say this: Ladies, put down the Diet Coke. Do a little research and determine if “zero calories” is really worth it.