Is Diet Soda Part of Your Diet?


| 4 Comments

With 0 calories and 0 "sugar", diet soda must be a healthier option than a regular soda (12oz can) with 150 calories and over 35 grams of sugar. Right? Diet soda is named diet because of this, one would assume....

 

CokeAndDietCoke.jpg


(sodahead.com)

 

It may be surprising to some that diet soda really is not better for one than a regular soda. Despite the first half of its name, diet soda still conatins caffeine, phosphoric acid, and artificial sweeteners, which keep the sodas tasting great with "0" calories. The following will explain why each of these can be detrimental to one's health:

Caffeine:

Caffeine may be the most widely used drug out there today. Many consumed it in beverages like coffee, tea, and in this case soda. Caffeine does give off some benefits to one's body, but those are quickly pulled back with its negative effects. The benefit is that caffeine can help you stay awake. That is why many people use it in the morning to feel more energized and at night when he or she needs to stay up. On the flip side, caffeine has some negative effects like on the heart, brain, and even with your sleep.

Caffeine leads to high blood pressure which can lead to a series of negative possibilities associated with your heart. Also, caffeine prevents the brains reception of adenosine. This compound is naturally released throughout the day and slows you down, and eventually will promote sleep for recovery. This is a simple way of viewing our sleep cycle. Caffeine interrupts this process.

Phospheric Acid:

I am no nutritionist, but acid usually does not sound good. In this case, it is not. Phosphorus and Calcium work together in your body. By consuming too much phosphorus at one time, the very vital absorption of calcium can be stopped. The body responds by releasing the parathyroid hormone which balances the calcium levels by taking calcium from our bones. This can potentially leave our bones weak and at risk of issues later in life like osteoporosis.

Artificial Sweeteners:

Lastly, what diet sodas contain that regular soda does not is artificial sweeteners. These fake sugars are technically calorieless, but still are far from healthy. There may be an association between artifical sweetener usage and different forms of cancer including bladder. The FDA at one point mandated that this be mentioned on products containing these sweetners. Different types of these sweeteners such as saccharin and aspartame can cause bladder and brain cancer respectively.

Besides cancer risk, these sweeteners tend to also lead to increase intake of other foods. Because these artificial sweeetners are actually sweeter than real sugar, one will have an increased appetite after consumption. This is according to the book "Nutrition Guide for Physicians".

I do not see people quitting there consumption of diet soda after reading this blog, but I think it is evident that it really can be detrimental to your health, where some people may see it as an okay substance to drink daily. Whether in the form of weight gain because of an increase in appetite, or more serious matters like cancer or heart disease, diet soda is far from diet.

 

 

4 Comments

Like you, I have always been skeptical about a 'diet' soda. It seems too good to be true, and out of the many reasons you explained why that is the case the one that fascinated me was artificial sweetners. A name I hear used a lot is Splenda, which according to TLC can be responsible for a host of problems including skin rashes, panic, diarrhea, headaches, bladder issues, and stomach pain. That seems like a terrible trade off just to save some calories. I wonder if we will begin see to see more dangerous long term effects in the future just like we did with smoking.

I have always been skeptical about diet drinks and artificial sweeteners. My mother has been drinking diet coke every morning for as long as I can remember. She claims it's better than drinking coffee because of the lower calories, but my sister and I have been trying to convince her otherwise. Our whole family are big fans of splenda, which my sister and I now refer to as "cancer in a packet." Lately we have been trying to switch to Truvia, a natural sweetener. It is always difficult when we are at a restaurant and the only option we have to sweeten our iced tea is splenda. I hope sweeteners like Truvia will become more commonly used.

Hey Joseph. I was one of these people who chose a diet soda over regular ones because it seems to be "healthier" in terms of "less to zero calories". However, after I started to become VERY concerned about my healthy lifestyle, I told myself I would stop drinking soda...and I did it. Not only it feels MUCH better to not having excessive amount of sugar in your body, but I feel healthier both physically and mentally after stop drinking soda. Somehow, back in Thailand, my dad still keeps on drinking "coke zero" every single day and claims that "it has zero calorie". I told him more than 10 times to stop but he wouldn't listen to my advice.

Like the others who commented on this post, I have always been skeptical of "diet" drinks and artificial sweeteners. Personally, I can immediately taste the difference between regular and diet. I do not find diet refreshing in the least and I always experience headaches after drinking any type of beverage with an artificial sugar. I find it interesting that people who are addicted to Pepsi or Coke are typically addicted to the "diet" version of the drink. For this reason, I wonder if the chemicals in the artificial sugar are more addictive than in the regular version or if people only become addicted because they mistakenly think these versions are healthier. I also am curious why I experience headaches because of artificial sweeteners and why I am able to detect these sugars while some individuals can not tell the difference.

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