Why diet soda is bad for you and what to drink instead

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Diet soda isn’t healthy just because it’s low in sugar and calories.

Beverage companies use artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose in place of sugar to replicate the taste of non-diet sodas.

Diet soda is not necessarily a health-conscious choice, and it does not provide nutritional value.

It’s not just about the taste. What should you know?

Why diet soda is bad for you and what to drink instead - Photo by JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images
Why diet soda is bad for you and what to drink instead – Photo by JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Diet soda: 5 reasons to avoid it

“A can or two of diet soda per day” is unlikely to cause major health problems, according to the Mayo Clinic. While it is true that diet soda is healthier than regular soda, it can have negative effects on your health.

  • Artificial sweeteners in diet soda can alter your perception of sweetness and caloric intake, leading to increased sugar cravings. Various studies, including one published in 2019 in Pediatric Obesity, have linked diet soda to increased sweet cravings in children. Curiosity may lead to overeating.
  • Diet soda may not help with diabetes or weight loss. In theory, substituting artificial sweeteners for sugar can help with weight loss and diabetes. “And it has no effect on the glycemic response in diabetic adults. In order to lose weight or control diabetes, diet soda should not be consumed, “USC Verdugo Hills Hospital’s clinical dietitian Rebecca Oh, RD
  • Digestion and hormone regulation may be harmed by diet soda. The impact of artificial sweeteners on gut bacteria is still unknown. However, it’s unclear how this will affect your health.
  • The long-term consumption of diet soda may cause kidney damage by increasing the production of free radicals in renal tissues. The American Society of Nephrology published a 2017 study linking diet soda consumption to kidney disease risk.
  • Diet soda may cause dental decay: Do you believe that sugar-free diet soda is better for your teeth? reconsider. Diet soda contains ingredients like citric acid, phosphoric acid, citric acid, and tartaric acid, which make it acidic. According to Colgate, these ingredients can erode tooth enamel at a similar rate to non-diet soda.

What research shows

Studies have linked diet soda to weight gain and serious illnesses.

The scientific community is divided. However, it is important to note that studies on artificial sweeteners are looking for correlations, not causality:

  • A 2017 Stroke study found an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and ischemic stroke among over 3,000 participants.
  • More than two artificially sweetened drinks per day increased the risk of ischemic stroke, coronary heart disease, and premature death, according to another Stroke study published in 2019.
  • Recent research found that those who drink two diet sodas per day are more likely to die from circulatory diseases and overall mortality than those who drink one diet soda per month or less, according to JAMA Internal Medicine published in 2019.
  • However, a 2017 PLoS Medicine review concluded that there are too many studies of this nature with questionable funding and sponsorship from large industries. Detangle the truth with more unbiased research.
  • Researchers found that the artificial sweetener aspartame increased the risk of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in obese people, but not in lean ones. According to the researchers, a 2014 study found that aspartame was linked to changes in gut bacteria that may impact insulin control.

Dietary Substitutes

That may not be the answer for most people. Moderation is key, of course. When drinking soda, limit yourself to 6-8 ounces and work on weaning yourself off of your cravings, suggests Oh. Soda, she says, is fine.

Plain old water with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice will hydrate you better than any diet or regular soda, she adds.

“To improve your health, I encourage you to focus on your health rather than the ‘limit’ of diet soda you can consume. Water is the best way to hydrate, quench thirst, and maintain good health. ” Oh,

In lieu of other beverages, Oh suggests unsweetened sparkling water or unsweetened tea.

Taking away

There is a need for more research, but it is clear that drinking diet soda should be accompanied by careful diet monitoring.

For those looking to lose weight or improve their overall health, it’s best to avoid diet soda, which has no nutritional value and can lead to overeating.