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Monday, March 13, 2006

Dana Carpender Article Prompts An Apology


Dana Carpender's recent column on diet soda changes my reader's mind

One of the things I don't shy away from here at my "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog is taking a stand when I think I am right about an issue. Does that mean I think I am ALWAYS right? Don't be silly, of course not (but I'm pretty darn close!). :)

Last year, the Coca-Cola company came out with two brand new diet soda products -- Diet Coke with Splenda and Coke Zero!

As a fan of Splenda, I was THRILLED when they came out with Diet Coke with Splenda because it gave me the authentic taste of Coke that I enjoyed without the sugar or carbs that I no longer consume. Other than having caffeine in it, it is the perfect diet soda.

But then Coca-Cola comes out with the most idiotic gimmick since the "New Coke" debacle from the late-80's when they released Coke Zero to the market. With a much, much larger marketing budget than Diet Coke with Splenda, the Coca-Cola company tried to position Coke Zero as a cool diet drink for young people who like the taste of Coke to enjoy with out worrying about calories, carbs, or sugar. The only difference is Coke Zero has aspartame (Nutrasweet) instead of sucralose (Splenda).

This was strange to me because THEY ALREADY HAD A PRODUCT LIKE THAT -- Diet Coke with Splenda! Why didn't they just use the Splenda formula and call it Coke Zero instead of confusing the marketplace and cannibalizing sales from Diet Coke with Splenda? I expressed my disgust at the time for anything that contains aspartame because it has been linked to an increase in brain tumors and cancer, among other health concerns.

Some would say Splenda causes problems, too, but renowned low-carb cookbook author and friend of "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" Dana Carpender wrote in this recent column that the studies on the effects of Splenda looked at unreasonably heavy doses of it to begin causing problems.

"I have gotten many emails from readers taking me to task for using Splenda in recipes, because in lab animals it caused thymus shrinkage and kidney swelling. In response I point out that this is true, but that these effects happened at dosages the equivalent of a 150-pound human being eating over 10,000 teaspoons of Splenda per day."

That's a whole lotta Splenda to be consuming before you start having issues. Even with as much Splenda as I consume, I don't think I'll approach 10,000 teaspoons of it in a DECADE!

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about aspartame and one of my charter readers at this blog felt like he needed to apologize for challenging my adamant stance against Nutrasweet.

Mister "Tut" from HealthHack.com, who has been with me since I first began my blog in April 2005, wrote this blog post today apologizing to me for my position against consuming aspartame because of Carpender's column.

"I was unconvinced by the research available on the ill effects of NutraSweet, but recent findings have finally convinced me otherwise. Sadly, I have now given up on Coke Zero - at least until they get the Splenda religion. So, to Jimmy Moore, Livin La Vida Low-Carb Man, I humbly apologize."

LOL! THANKS, Mister "Tut"! But there's no skin off my back. We all have our opinions and base how we think on what we believe is true and what we don't believe is true. My personal experience with aspartame giving me headaches and other physical reactions convinced me a long time ago that particular artificial sweetener is bad news. That is why I choose Splenda and other sugar alternatives to give me the sweet taste I need without the sugar I don't need.

With that said, your apology is completely accepted and I appreciate the opportunity to debate the merits of any position I take here whether it turns out I am right or wrong. That is one of the ways we further educate people about what is important regarding issues of health, diet and nutrition. And I appreciate opposing viewpoints because it helps bring out every angle of an issue to broaden our thought processes and make us more aware of why we believe what we do about livin' la vida low-carb.

I betcha Dana Carpender didn't realize she would be responsible for an apology coming to me? Did you, Dana? Now that's somebody with real power, buddy! Hee hee! :-D

3 Comments:

Blogger Newbirth said...

What I want to know is what is the difference between Coke Zero and regular old Diet Coke?

I use any and all diet drinks - whether sweetened with NutraSweet or Splenda.

3/13/2006 9:56 PM  
Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...

One is called Zero, the other is called diet :P (Just kidding!)

Actually Coke Zero has just launched here in Australia. A lot of marketing was done.

We don't have a choice because it all has aspartame here :(

3/13/2006 10:57 PM  
Blogger Jeff Hamlin said...

"I have gotten many emails from readers taking me to task for using Splenda in recipes, because in lab animals it caused thymus shrinkage and kidney swelling. In response I point out that this is true, but that these effects happened at dosages the equivalent of a 150-pound human being eating over 10,000 teaspoons of Splenda per day."

Take THAT, sugar association! =)

3/14/2006 12:12 AM  

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