Barb’s Story: The Real Thing

I once had a patient named Barb who liked to drink diet cola – up to eight cans a day. That’s a lot of aspartame, phosphoric acid and phenylalanine to pump into your body, I thought. “Why do you drink so much diet cola?” I asked Barb. “It tastes good,” she said, “and it has zero calories.” I tried to explain to her the harmful risks associated with diet soft drinks, such as kidney failure, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, reproductive system damage and bone loss. I told her about how artificial sweeteners like saccharin and aspartame actually cause higher weight gain than sugar because of how the body stores fat after being “tricked” by artificial sweeteners.


After our discussion, Barb quit drinking diet cola. Within a few weeks she lost five stubborn pounds … just by kicking the can! After a month I saw Barb in my office again. “Are you still abstaining from diet cola?” I asked. “To tell you the truth, Dr. King, I nearly fell off the bandwagon. I’d been thinking a lot about how I just wanted one more taste of diet cola. Then when I had the opportunity to pop the top, I did it.” “So … what happened?” I asked. “I took one sip and then I spit it right out. I couldn’t believe how terrible it tasted! All I could taste were those yucky chemicals in my mouth. It was awful!” “That’s amazing, Barb. And this is the same cola you had been drinking all the time?” She nodded. “It’s the same old cola, so I guess I’m the one that’s changed. Maybe I liked it then because my taste buds were numbed by drinking it all the time. But not anymore. Not after a month of doing without. One thing I know for sure, Dr. King, is that I’ll never drink diet cola again.” People who drink just one serving of soda a day increase their risk of diabetes by 22 percent.[1] But the health risks of diet sodas may even be more serious than sweetened drinks, even though they contain no calories. One risk that many people do not know is how artificial sweeteners trigger the pancreas to release insulin, which causes increased hunger, binge eating, obesity and the risk of diabetes. Research studies have linked these artificial sweeteners with greater weight gain, due to how the artificial sweeteners trick the body into storing every available calorie and increasing hunger.[2] Pure, natural water is the real thing.

[1] Just One Soda Increases Your Risk of Diabetes by 22 Percent, (December 2013).
[2] Saccharin and Aspartame, Compared with Sucrose, Induce Greater Weight Gain in Adult Wistar Rats, (December 2013).

This is adapted from Dr. Frank King’s book, The Healing Revolution: Eight Essentials to Awaken Abundant Life, Naturally. Copyright 2014, Frank J. King Jr. All rights reserved. Do not use without permission from the author.