Diet soda is basically carbonated water infused with a chemical soup usually consisting of an artificial sweetener, artificial food coloring, a combination of natural and artificial flavors. You will most likely find “other” ingredients listed on he product like preservatives and even caffeine. But is diet soda healthy?
These sodas offer no real nutritional value which might lead some people to believe that diet soda will help with weight loss. But that, in fact, is not settled science. Studies sponsored by the soda industry tend to portray diet soda in a more favorable light than studies done by independent researchers. This article takes a closer look at these issues.
- 1 Is Diet Soda Bad for You?
- 2 Diet Soda and Diabetes
- 3 Is Aspartame Worse than Sugar?
- 4 Does Diet Soda Break a Fast?
- 5 Diet Soda vs Regular Soda
- 6 Diet Soda and Weight Loss
- 7 Diet Soda While Pregnant
- 8 Diet Soda and Weight Gain
- 9 Is Diet Soda Healthy? – Conclusion
- 10 Related Information
Is Diet Soda Bad for You?
Is diet soda bad for you? Thanks to the fact that artificial sweeteners don’t dissolve in the body like sugar, they may not be linked to obesity or diabetes but that is not settled science and more research is needed. Some studies have found that they may be linked to weight loss. But recent research has also suggested that they could be damaging your brain. For example, too much aspartame can damage or kill brain cells. This is associated with memory loss and dementia.
A study from Purdue University found that rats who were fed artificially sweetened water had shrunken brains, as well as an increased risk of strokes and blood clots. The researchers aren’t sure what it is about artificially sweetened drinks that causes these effects—they suspect it’s the combination of zero calories combined with the triggering of sweetness receptors on the tongue. Researchers were concerned enough to suggest further study to determine if there could be similar effects in humans.
While research is still inconclusive on whether diet drinks are truly harmful to your health, there’s no reason to start drinking them. If you’re used to drinking diet soda, try switching back to regular soda (not too many!) or water. Actually, you might even find that you enjoy water more than you used to!
If you find plain water too boring to do day in and day out, you might want to try infused water. As many of you probably know, you can make your own tasty, healthy and inexpensive drinks with fruits, herbs and certain vege’s at home. If your not familiar with infused water drinks, Google it. There are plenty of recipes available online.
“I’m not on a diet. And it’s funny cause people go ‘Well, then why do you drink diet soda?’ So I can eat regular cake.” – Gabriel Iglesias
Diet Soda and Diabetes
Though diet soda and diabetes seem to be two different subjects, they are actually directly related. Diet soda is something that has become more and more popular in America over the years. This drink is sweet tasting but contains artificial sweeteners instead of sugar. People want the drink but are not willing or able to have a regular soda because they contain a large amount of sugar.
In a recent study, it was discovered that diet sodas can contribute to the onset of type 2 diabetes. This was determined by looking at over 40,000 women who were participating in a Nurses’ Health Study for 18 years. It was found that those who drank an average of one or more diet sodas per day had a 33 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who did not consume diet soda at all.
Diabetes is a serious disease that can be very dangerous and even lead to death. And although a direct link between diet soda and diabetes is not currently understood at the causative stage, there is certainly enough evidence to suggest at least a correlation between the two does exist.
Is Aspartame Worse than Sugar?
Aspartame has been describes as being safe for healthy individual by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). But you can also find statements like this:
“I believe that one day we will find out the truth about aspartame, that it is actually a chemical weapon. When I say this, people think I am crazy. But when you see what happens… ” Dr. Russell Blaylock MD Neurosurgeon
So, what’s up?
Many people are concerned that aspartame is more dangerous than sugar—but is this true? And if it is, why do we use it? Sugar is what it is. We all know it contains a lot of calories and it is certainly not something you would take for weight loss!
So, what is aspartame? It’s a low-calorie, artificial sweetener. It’s used in place of sugar and has almost no calories but tastes sweet. It’s made from two amino acids: aspartic acid and phenylalanine.
It’s been around for decades, but over the years there has been a growing concern about its safety. Some people think it causes cancer and others feel the chemicals in it are just plain bad for you. So why don’t we just use sugar instead, if there are no better alternatives?
Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar, so less of it needs to be used to get the same amount of sweetness. This makes foods containing aspartame cheaper to produce and purchase. It also makes them last longer because they don’t spoil as quickly. Sugar doesn’t keep nearly as long as products containing aspartame. Products with sugar tend to spoil faster in storage or even at room temperature since the bacteria on our tongues can break down the sugar and cause foodborne illnesses like botulism.
There have been studies that have shown that Aspartame may cause certain issues in the body, such as headaches and even cancer. Some scientific studies have also shown that using Aspartame can lead to weight gain and make it harder for you to lose weight. But does this mean you should stop using Aspartame? Not quite. When looking at what is causing cancer, it’s important to look at it from many angles. Just because one study shows that one thing can cause cancer doesn’t mean it is a fact. It is important to take any scientific study with a grain of salt, because there are always other factors involved in determining if something causes cancer. It’s not just the Aspartame being consumed that could be causing a change in health, but there could be other factors involved such as obesity or genetics.
There is much uncertainty about the effects of aspartame on the human body. Scientists are using words like “may cause” to describe how aspartame affects health. What they are saying is that there is a correlation with headaches or cancer, for example, but the research has not determined if there is a causative link. So, the answer to the question, is aspartame worse than sugar has yet to be determined.
Does Diet Soda Break a Fast?
No, diet soda does not break a fast. Diet sodas are technically sugar-free and calorie-free, so they don’t contain any nutrients or calories that would prohibit you from continuing your fast. However, it is advised that you avoid diet sodas if you’re fasting for weight loss. One study found that regular consumption of diet soda was associated with an increase in the body mass index, waist circumference, and blood pressure in a group of 478 healthy adults. Another study found that those who drank more than three servings of diet soda per day tend to have higher levels of belly fat and other markers of metabolic syndrome. So, while diet sodas don’t break your fast by themselves, they could contribute to weight gain or other health problems if you’re making a habit out of drinking them every day!
Some people use diet soda as a replacement for sweeteners such as honey or molasses during their fast, but others prefer to avoid any kind of artificial sweetener
If you are avoiding diet soda during your fast, the most important thing to know is that it will not break your fast. The key to a fast is to refrain from eating or drinking anything with any nutritional value while fasting. The stomach takes hours to empty food and drink, so any liquid ingested has a high likelihood of passing through the stomach and entering the intestines where it may be absorbed into the bloodstream. This would violate your fast. In addition, any residual ingredients which may remain in your mouth after drinking will also be absorbed if they were swallowed while not chewing food. Therefore, even something as subtle as a breath mint will break your fast because it will dissolve in your mouth and flow into the digestive system. Diet soda will not do this.
Diet Soda vs Regular Soda
Drinking a diet soda over a regular soda isn’t necessarily a bad idea. This says more about the person and not so much about the drink. Plenty of people who drink diet soda exclusively and it seems to work for them.
When it comes to diet vs regular, like many other things in life, moderation seems to be the key. It’s usually when people start drinking multiple cans a day that they run into trouble. It can only be concluded that there is some evidence that drinking diet soda in excess can have a negative impact on your health. That being said, this is not a universal truth by any means.
Sugar vs Artificial Sweeteners
Diets have never been so popular. It seems like every other person is on a low-carb diet, or at least trying to cut back on their sugar intake. But what about diet soda? Does it deserve its bad reputation?
Someone who has never heard of the health risks of diet soda would probably assume that it’s a healthier alternative to regular soda—after all, it’s not full of sugar and calories, right? Actually, it’s full of artificial sweeteners and chemicals that may end up being proven to be unhealthy as so many other chemical soups have proven to be. Although there is no conclusive evidence that drinking diet soda will cause immediate health problems, there are long-term effects that could be seen in people who drink diet soda daily for many years. Topping the list of health risks is aspartame, an artificial sweetener that has been linked to cancer in lab animals.
“There are now more obese people in the United States than there are overweight people. I think it’s safe to say that after all these years, Diet Coke is a complete failure.” – Jay Leno
Diet Soda and Weight Loss
What is the relationship between diet soda and weight loss? First, let’s talk about sugar. It is a carbohydrate that your body uses for energy. When you eat table sugar (sucrose), fruits, vegetables and other foods that contain carbs, they are turned into glucose, which is used by your body for energy. Glucose is the only energy source that your body can use directly, so it is a very efficient source of fuel.
However, not all carbs are the same. There are two types of carbs – simple carbs and complex carbs. Simple carbs are sugars that are quickly absorbed by the body and sent to the liver for processing. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest and turn into glucose. Your body stores any extra glucose as fat for later use, in case you have too little food to eat during times of famine preventing you from dying from starvation. This sounds like a good thing, but in fact it is not good at all! You don’t want your body to hold onto extra fat because when you lose weight, those fat reserves won’t go away until your body burns them up through exercise or dieting.
A lot of people think that diet sodas are the key to weight loss, but the truth is that there is no real evidence that this is true. Research shows that diet sodas do not cause weight loss, and in some cases may even cause weight gain.
Diet Soda While Pregnant
Here is the theory. Pregnant women who gain too much weight while pregnant deliver heavier babies. Heavy babies become overweight children who become overweight adults. This is certainly not always the case but a statistical average that cannot be ignored. Therefor, women should do their best to stay within the weight gain parameters set by the doctor.
But diet soda filled with artificial sweeteners is probably not a good way to limit calorie intake. Recent studies suggest that this strategy could easily backfire.
Canadian researchers conducted a study involving over 3,000 pregnant women. They discovered that women who drank more artificially sweetened so called diet drinks were giving birth to heavier babies. Even when other factors were considered the connection remained. The sweeteners seem to be the real issue but what that connection is, is grounds for further research.
Diet Soda and Weight Gain
While it’s true that diet sodas can help you lose weight, they’re not a panacea by any means. According to the American Journal of Public Health. In a study that looked at how over 3,500 women of varying ages and weights fared after drinking one or more sodas per day, those who drank two or more were found to have gained around five pounds in one year. This was true even when factors like exercise and overall diet were taken into account. The study also found that those who drank diet soda had higher Bony Mass Index’s (BMI) than those who drank regular sodas.
By now, it’s a well-established fact that diet soda is no means a magic solution for weight loss or maintenance. There are actually a couple of studies that claim diet soda actually makes you gain more weight than those who drink regular soda, and those who drink diet soda may lose less weight than those who drink water.
It is postulated, rightfully so, that diet soda could actually be causing weight gain This is true even though they have no nutritional value. The issue is that these diet drinks are causing food cravings that stimulate a person’s appetite thus, in the end, causing weight gain.
Is Diet Soda Healthy? – Conclusion
So, basically the bottom line when it comes to diet soda is that the jury is still out. The evidence is conflicting. More research and study are needed. But as mentioned earlier, the best course of action when faced with such conflicting information is moderation. There may well be health risks involved if you over-do-it with the chemical soups known as diet soda.
Retired from the real world after several careers. But thinking back, college was a lot of fun. And researching various topics for debate team was one of my favorite things to do. On this little website I get to research anything that catches my attention. How fun is that! Add in a little commentary and opinion for good measure. And that’s it!