But I Only Drink Diet Soda

As we learned in one of our earlier classes this semester, drinking soda is bad for you. Everyone knows that, but not many people know if and how bad drinking diet soda is for you. There are many diets sodas with claims that make them seem like they are healthy beverages. We've all seen Coke Zero with very low calories and zero sugar. Diet sodas have zero sugar compared to the huge amounts of sugar is regular sodas. If these drinks have no sugar, how do they still taste sweet you may be asking. They all contain artificial sweeteners. The real affects of many sweeteners today are unknown which is why many people still drink diet beverages and tell them selves that they are healthy. 

An 11-year study on diet sodas concluded earlier this year with startling results. This study on an artificial sweetener called aspartame followed about 3,300 women for a number of years as they drank diet sodas containing aspartame. The results of this study were that there was a strong correlation between the amount of diet soda you drank (amount of aspartame you consumed) and degeneration of kidney function. In this study they took into account the participants age, blood pressure, smoking habits, and pre-existing conditions.

Just in case you were wondering, aspartame is used in a wide variety of products and not only diet sodas. Some of these products include diet Cokes, Pepsis, many other "healthy sodas", Wrigley's Orbit and Extra gums, and many other products. This is a very long and frightening list of items. Many of which I have consumed and you probably consumed as well. Also, popular sweeteners that contain aspartame are Equal and NutraSweet. I have never been a fan of artificial sweeteners but never had a reason. Now that this study has shows such strong results, I will definitely be staying away. 

I think the best course of action to take is to stay away from drinking any sodas. There is no such thing as a healthy soda. Regular sodas can lead to weight gain and diabetes among other complications. Diet sodas can lead to kidney degeneration among other rumored complications such as gain weight and cancers. If water isn't an interesting enough beverage to drink, try some all-natural juices such as coconut water and apple juice.


This blog is actually very relevant to my life right now because 4 months ago I was addicted to diet Pepsi. My roommate and I would drink 3-4 bottles of diet Pepsi a day and constantly craved it. I decided to give it up because I was always feeling thirsty and tiered. It was not easy to give up but once I did it is so easy not to drink. Now whenever I take a sip of diet Pepsi I think it is so gross and can't believe I used to drink it like water. Once I cut myself off from diet Pepsi I also noticed that I lost 4 pounds. I asked one of my friends who is in nutrition that is giving up diet Pepsi might have something to do with it and it does! Our bodies don't recognize the artificial sweetener in diet Pepsi and automatically stores itself therefore causing weight gain.

I have never been a constant soda drinker. I prefer water over soda everyday, even if I'm out to eat with friends or family. I choose to do this because no matter if you're drinking regular or diet soda, they are both equally bad for you. In the article from the NY Daily News online, Diet soda is no healthier than regular soda: report, it discusses that although you may be drinking diet soda it still contains a lot of calories and can cause weight gain. They say to look at soda as candy. You don't have candy at every meal, so why would you want to drink soda at every meal. It really puts it into perspective because drinking soda at every meal really isn't ideal. It can lead to diabetes and other fatal problems.

I too have never really enjoyed soda that much, but when I do drink it, I never drink diet. Whether it be soda, tea or juice I always stick to the regular type instead of choosing the "zero sugar" or "reduced fat" option. For me, it has always been a matter of the amount of artificial substances that I put into my body. As soda is already artificial enough for me, when I do drink it I do not want even more "fakeness" going into my body. If it's artificial, it can't be good for you, even if it does promise to be low sugar or low fat. The companies must make up for the lack of sugar by manipulating the product in some way or adding even more chemicals, which is not something I want to consume. However, my dad on the other hand won't drink anything BUT diet soda. I guess everyone has different opinions on it, but hopefully people will become more education on this matter from the study done and realize diet soda isn't much better for you! Here is another article on the risks of diet soda--there are a ton!! http://healthyliving.msn.com/health-wellness/7-side-effects-of-drinking-diet-soda

I am guilty of using artificial sweeteners more than I would like to say, with my several coffee drinks throughout the day, nighttime tea, in my foods, and not to mention all the low-calorie snacks it's automatically a part of. My elders have taught me to use as little sugar in my life as possible, and it's commonly called "White Death" in my culture. So as an alternative, I have been frequently using sugar substitutes, which may not be the healthiest option. I have long known anything "diet" foods are no all they claim to be. Drinking regular soda can be equivalent to drinking diet soft drinks when it comes to health risks. When it comes down to it, water is the healthiest beverage of choice, and there are many studies that prove this. This website explains just a few reasons: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-drink-water

The FDA still claims that there is nothing wrong with aspartame or neotame because of industry-sponsored tests saying that they were safe according to this website: http://aspartamesafety.com/web/articles/a-tale-of-two-sweeteners-stevia-and-aspartame . However, there are other natural sweeteners available such as stevia, which are grounded up stevia plant leaves. It has been used for hundreds of years to sweeten food in Brazil and Paraguay according to this site: http://www.livescience.com/39601-stevia-facts-safety.html . More studies could be used to determine the long term effects of both stevia and aspartame. Are sweeteners even good for us at all? Or is sugar the only way to go?

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