Today we are looking at possible health issues caused by processed foods, including diet drinks that contain artificial ingredients such as aspartame.

i was looking at your website and it is VERY , VERY , INTRESTING ! i drink a lot of diet drinks but after what i was reading dont think i want to anymore. i also have chronic bladder infections is it cuz of the diet drinks ? i cook only with OLIVE OIL , EAT ONLY WHOLE GRAINS , no rice no pasta and NO RED MEAT since childhood . i eat chicken , turkey , alots of fish and greens. but my down fall is JUNK FOOD…….. NATURAL POPCORN , FRITO CHIPS , POTATOE CHIPS AHHHHHHH……….and you please answer about the things i have wrote when you have just a tiny chance?

Dieting Diane

Hi Diane,

It’s the ever-popular “processed foods” debate. The thing with processed foods, including diet drinks, it the number of artificial substances they contain or are subjected to in the factory. There’s a lot of weird stuff out there, and most of it hasn’t been around long enough to have been studied for long-term side effects.

We can’t say for sure which problems are going to be attributed to which chemical ingredients, but under most circumstances, I highly prefer to ingest pure, natural foods, instead of something that was mixed, bleached, boiled, or concocted in a laboratory.

So I don’t know if the aspartame from diet drinks could cause a bladder infection, but it could very well make it hard for your body to fight off the infection.

You could think of the aspartame as a second infection in your body. Now, instead of your body fighting off the bladder infection, your body has to fight off the bladder infection and deal with this other chemical contaminant (e.g. aspartame). Two against one is not a fair fight!

For further reading, you may want to check out the bladder infection page at the Natural Cures website, plus this article with an in-depth analysis of diet drinks and their problems. I can’t vouch for these sites, but they provide interesting insights.

Although I do recommend ditching the diet drinks completely, you’re on track with what I would recommend for a good diet. Keep eating a diet rich in natural foods with lots of greens, and go ahead and indulge every once in a while. Sometimes the stress of restricting those foods is worse for you than eating them, as long as it’s done in moderation.

I mean, even with a perfect diet, you’re bound to run into some sort of health problem eventually. So why not treat yourself sometimes?

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  1. I was using nicotine gum for three years and for the last three years have been using the lozenges. At least ten a day. I just discovered that these things have aspartame in them. For the past two years I have had many bladder infections. Could this be the problem?

  2. @Carol

    All I can say is ‘maybe.’ You should talk to a doctor about that one.

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