Diet Pepsi will be made without aspartame starting in August because of changing consumer demand. While it’s great that consumers are concerned about what they are drinking, replacing aspartame with another sugar substitute may not be the best option.
Aspartame, an artificial sweetener, has been highly tested and is regarded as safe for most people by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but public concern over the sugar substitute has led PepsiCo to make a change. Instead, Diet Pepsi will soon be made with the lesser-tested sweeteners sucralose (essentially Splenda) and acesulfame potassium.
While both sucralose and acesulfame potassium have been approved for use in food and beverages in the U.S. , they haven’t been studied to the amount that aspartame has. The change, while getting rid of aspartame, may not make Diet Pepsi any better or worse for health.
What does not change though, is that diet sodas like Pepsi are not a healthier version of sugar-sweetened soda, and by simply switching the sweetener, it will not help anyone lose weight. In the recently redone World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, the organization calls for sugar to be only 10% of a day’s energy intake, about 25 grams. A can of normal pepsi has 41 grams of sugar, and although diet pepsi may technically have 0 grams with (or without) aspartame, again that does not mean it’s good for you.
As with anything else, if you’re going to drink a soda, the best thing to do is to drink in moderation.