(NaturalNews) After decades of being the choice for people who were concerned about consuming too much sugar, diet sodas are seeing their popularity, and sales, diminish rapidly. While the decline started about a decade ago, it has gathered speed in the past few years as information about alarming health concerns becomes available. Instead of diet sodas, many people these days are reaching for water, or juices that they make themselves at home.
Dangerous chemicals abound
Within the past few years, it has come to the attention of consumers that many of their favorite citrus-flavored diet sodas, such as lemon and lemon-lime flavors, contain brominated vegetable oil. Also referred to as BVO, this chemical is used by drink manufacturers, such as PepsiCo, to add weight to their flavorings to keep them from separating to the top of the bottle. The primary use of this chemical, however, is as a flame retardant.
Other additives are added, too
BVO is not the only additive that has consumers concerned about drinking their favorite diet soda. Other additives include aspartame, acesulfame potassium, artificial caffeine, phosphoric acid and more. Many people turned to drinking these fizzy concoctions in order to avoid sugar-laden sodas. Such drinks often bath the teeth in a continuous sugar bath, leading to a tendency of dental problems. Other people turned to diet sodas as a way to enjoy a flavorful drink without adding calories from sugar.
Aspartame: Dangerous chemical
The most commonly used artificial sweetener on the market today, aspartame, is linked to a myriad of health issues that have experts in the field concerned over its long term use. This chemical has been linked to a variety of health issues in humans, ranging from cancer to brain disorders and more. In fact, a University of Washington researcher warned that tests on lab mice revealed that the sweetener left holes in their brains.
Alternatives are available
Consumers do not need to despair, though. There are other, healthy, flavorful options available, either commercially or right in their own homes. With the advent of high-quality blenders and food processors, for example, it is now possible for the amateur home chef to whip up a delicious juice using the freshest organic fruits and vegetables available. This convenient method also enables consumers to add more fruits and vegetables to their diets, which health experts suggest is a key way to help lose weight while also meeting required nutritional needs.
Water is an old friend
Water is a tried and true beverage that refreshes on the hottest day. It does so without any added calories or sweeteners, making it the ideal drink for those people who are anxious to watch their weight. In addition, water is easy to customize to the liking of the individual by adding a splash of fresh lemon juice, for example.
While the news of the ingredients in soda is scary, consumers do have other, more healthful, alternatives that provide them with a wealth of benefits.