They say Diet Doctor Pepper tastes just like regular Dr. Pepper. Well then they ****** up!  – Mitch Hedberg

I mostly kicked the coca-cola habit a couple of years ago, switching to Coke Zero. I have called it my methadone. For those who don’t know what that is, here is a full wikipedia article. In short, it’s a way to kick heroin by mimmicking the effects without a narcotic addiction. It’s a stop gap measure for recovering addicts, but not something that you want to be on forever.

Well, the time has come. I need to kick the diet soda habit. It really is not the worst habit to have, and the recent study saying it was a major factor in all sorts of disease was yet another parking lot science bit with correlation not even close to stating causation. WebMD has a pretty reasonable coverage of it. Even the reports in the popular press said so, though my inclination is to believe that was to avoid legal trouble form the American Beverage Maker Asssociation. The only cartel that will destroy enemies quicker is Scientology. They are also the lead propagandist behind the “hey high fructose corn syrup is made from corn! It’s natural and awesome!” campaign.

In any case, the fact that diet soda drinkers showed a higher risk of stroke, heart attack and all sorts of bad stuff, tells me that the profile of a habitual diet soda drinker likely includes a lot of other problems. A reliance on a lot of processed convenience food comes to mind. A less tangible and measurable side effect, but one that I am finding extremely important is the relationship between artificial sweeteners and one’s palette. Get outside the US, and you won’t find everything so sweet. It’s definitely a habit we all need to look at. Our number one condiment in the US is ketchup. Most  major brands have as a top 3 ingredient, high fructose corn syrup. Squirt out some heinz, see how it shines? Even natural ketchups or HFCS-free products put a ton of sugar in them, because it is what has become expected. Hunts dropped HFCS in 2010, but still adds a lot of sugar.

Sweetness is everywhere. We’re so inundated with it, our palettes have become numb. Example: fruit dip. What the hell? Fruit is perfect as it is. And it’s pretty sweet to begin with.Even in the 70s, which began the processed food boom, and put sugar on everything, we still seemed to be able to eat apple slices without caramel dip, and carrots without ranch dressing.

(I did however have access to plenty of Tastykake product, and lots and lots of soda. – I can’t blame my parents here, there was a soda machine in the basement of the fire hall next door. I spent a lot of time figuring out the code on the door so I could get in and access that thing any time I wanted. If that’s not addict behavior, I don’t know what is.)

I know that if I really wanted to, I could keep this stop gap measure in my diet for a long time and probably not see a terrible result. But it’s time to go. I’ve been enjoying unsweetened tea for a couple of years now, so the switch to that and more plain water won’t be that hard at this point. It has served its purpose, which was to keep me from going crazy when I finally got my body moving. I’m 3 months into some serious changes, so some more steps now are totally achievable.

You heard it here first. If you have stock in Coca-Cola, sell it now. Their market share is about to drop significantly.


One thought on “Time to Leave the Methadone Clinic

  1. i’ve heard methadone is harder to quit than the heroin causing the methadone Rx, so good luck friend. i’m inspired by your need to take on more challenge. most folks see some results and start celebrating those results all the way to the candy aisle (hence, my bowl of fruit loops after a long run).

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