Last week after reading how artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Aspartame could potentially goof around with one’s triglyceride and blood sugar levels, I decided to give up diet sodas.
The week before, my gynecologist ordered cholesterol and other similar blood tests for me as I’d never had them done before, and while everything else was within normal ranges, my triglycerides were slightly elevated at 185. All I’d had to drink that morning – because I did not know I was going to even have a blood test done and so I did not do any fasting – was about 3-4 oz of Diet Dr. Pepper. Normally I also have coffee, along with some type of cereal and 2% milk, but that is usually once I’m en route to work for my 45-60 minute commute (I take the cereal dry in a baggie, stuff like cheerios so is easy to eat in the car), so those I had not eaten yet. She did not order a retest so I have no idea if that slight elevation was “normal” for me after a fast, or if it was due to the diet soda. Either way, I read up on things afterward and decided that day that I was going to stop drinking diet sodas or anything sweetened with those artificial sweeteners – after I finished my last crystal light, and last soda that I already had open and was drinking, of course.
This is not to say I am giving up caffeine, also, oh no. I still have a morning coffee, and instead of soda now I am drinking iced tea, using Truvia as the sweetener. But, I have not had one drop of soda since last Thursday, nor any crystal light. Instead, I’ve been trying VitaminWater by Glaceau (both the “zero” and the regular stuff, the “zero” is supposed to have the same stuff that is in Truvia), and sometimes, Gatorade. I’m not reverting to regular sodas because they contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which I’m also trying to cut out of our diets. That is turning out to be much more difficult than avoiding splenda or aspartame. They sneak that stuff into pre-packaged frozen foods that are supposed to be “diet” foods, did you know that? For shame. I’d much rather see straight sugar, or cane sugar in foods, than HFCS. At least with the former types of sweeteners, it takes longer for the body to break them down than HFCS (or so I’ve read).
The hardest part so far is trying to explain to my four year old that we’re not buying such-and-such cereal anymore because it’s “bad” for us (she prefers Lucky Charms and it’s various brand equivalents). She seems to like an alternate cereal I bought for her (an organic brand) that has a minimal amount of ingredients in it, but not enough to forget about those marshmallow cereals. Not yet, anyway, but I’ll keep trying. I’m just glad that her preschool sticks to the relatively low-sugar stuff for breakfast like cheerios and chex and the like. Then again, they probably don’t want a bunch of toddlers hopped up on sugar for the morning, either. LOL
So that’s our goals so far – cutting out HCFS as much as we can, and, at least for me, dropping diet sodas and crystal light. For hubby that last part is probably going to be a bit more challenging, I think.