How Sweet It Is

New ads from Coca-Cola claim artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, used in Diet Coke, "give people great-tasting options they can feel good about."

But is aspartame a safe alternative to sugar?

"It's controversial," explained Dr. Theodore Strange, associate chair of Medicine and VP of Medical Operations at SIUH South.

While there's no evidence linking aspartame to cancer as previously thought, it does pose other health concerns.

"There's data that shows that drinks with aspartame and other artificial sweeteners have, in fact, increased obesity because you get a sugar urge and you have to eat more," says Dr. Strange.

Over time, those extra calories can increase your chances of heat attack, stroke and developing diabetes.

"In the long run," says Dr. Strange, "water and natural juices are the best way to go."

Categories: SIUH News

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