If you MUST have sugar, have it. Have stevia. Have agave. Pour on a touch of maple syrup. But for your own sake, stay the eff away from anything ‘diet,’ anything ‘sugarfree,’ anything artificially sweetened. Cause though it may taste sweet now, the long-term affects are scarily sour.
There’s scads and scads of research, but I’ll just pull a few quotes from one article here:
Aspartame (APM) is an extracted sweetener from wood (methyl alcohol), which is 200 times more powerful than sugar in sweetness. It is composed of two amino acids (phenylalanine and aspartic acid); both are found along with other amino acids in certain protein foods. Because aspartame is a “natural” chemical, the consumer assumes that it is safe in any amounts. Such “isolates” without other supporting amino acids, in excessive doses, can become toxic in different ways, even more than alcohol. When APM molecule gets metabolized, it lets out methyl alcohol along with phenylalanine and aspartic acid, turning into a neurotoxin. Neurotoxins are chemicals that have poisonous effects on the central nervous system.
Methyl alcohol, isolated and without ethyl alcohol (both occur naturally in most protein foods), breaks down into formaldehyde, another toxin. Together they result in degenerative diseases, autoimmune disorders, mental retardation and behavioral abnormalities in adults, children and fetuses. “Isolates,” in aspartame like phenylalanine, disrupt the functions of neurotransmitters and brain through neurotoxicity, causing behavioral and mental dysfunctions and developmental deformities. Depressions, panic attacks and headaches also develop because of the depletion of the serotonin supply in the brain caused by continuous aspartame consumption.
Furthermore, the sweet taste of the chemical alerts the brain of the presence of sugar. Though not there, the effect makes the brain remember the sweetness and the body begins to yearn for more carbohydrates and sugar, thus leading to weight gain and obesity.
Consider that food for though next time you pick the sugar-free candy, the diet coke, the fifth pack of gum.