Especially in the United States, diet sodas are a popular choice for people who are trying to lose weight or looking for a healthier option than regular soda. While it does have few or no calories, the drawbacks to the artificially sweetened beverages far outweigh this benefit.
In this article, we uncover the less glamorous side of diet sodas. With all of the negative effects that diet sodas can cause, what may have once appealed to you will surely lose its fizz.
The only real advantage to diet soda is that it doesn’t contain any refined sugar. Compared to the high levels of added sugar in regular soda (usually around 30-40g/can), this is a true benefit. Cutting out this amount of refined sugar not only keeps your total consumed calories lower; it lowers your risk for obesity, diabetes, and heart problems like hypertension and heart disease.
The drawback to cutting out refined sugar, though, is that diet soda is full of artificial sweeteners. This both alters the taste of the soda and brings on an onslaught of other problems. Recent studies on the effects of drinking diet soda suggest that those people who do so on a daily basis may have an elevated risk for heart attack and stroke. This is unique to diet soda. No such correlation exists with regular soda. In addition, other research has shown a link between drinking diet soda and the development of metabolic syndrome and type-2 diabetes.
Possibly the most shocking problem with diet soda is that it may actually cause weight gain. The issue stems from the fact that the artificial sweeteners used in diet soda are intensely sweet but have no calories. As a result, the body loses touch with the correlation between sweetness and calorie management. Thus, tasting something sweet ceases to be a trigger to stop taking in calories for diet soda drinkers, which leads to these people eating more sweet foods and gaining weight.
Besides hydration, diet soda can’t benefit you in any way from a nutrition standpoint—so why drink it? Water is still your best bet for hydration, but milk and certain fruit juices are healthy options, too. If you need a fizz fix in your life, try seltzer water made with water, CO2, and flavoring.
CATEGORIES: Beverages, Healthy Foods, Junk Food Alternatives , Kids' Health , Snacks