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Why Wise People Don’t Drink Diet Soda

February 05, 2016  |  Difficulty: Easy

diet soda

Do you belong among those who cannot imagine having a hamburger or pizza without a soda? If you turn to diet soda in the belief that it is a healthy choice, you might be surprised about the following facts! If you are among those who already suspected that all that glitters is not gold, but you still cannot resist your cravings for these sweet carbonated beverages, read on and try some of the alternatives mentioned at the end of this article.

Soda Concerns

First of all, consuming too many carbonated beverages in general can possibly be harmful to the stomach, and the acids present in soda can be unhealthy for your teeth. Some dentists recommend using a straw when drinking soda to help decrease the teeth exposure. Another problem is the very high content of sugar. Thanks to the growing health concerns surrounding sugar-sweetened beverages, people turn to diet soda for its zero calories and lack of sugar and believe that there is zero affect on blood sugar. Nope, be cautious. Diet soda can make a mess of your health!

Most doctors agree that consuming diet soda on a daily basis actually contributes to weight gain because the artificial sweetener causes blood sugar to rise and stimulate the release of insulin, which tells the body to store fat and sends a signal to your brain that you are hungry. In the original study conducted by researchers at the Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, data was collected for height, weight, waist circumference, and diet soda intake every 3.6 years from 474 people aged 65-74. Those who drank two or more diet sodas a day had waist-circumference increases that were five times larger than those of non-diet-soda drinkers.

Moreover, the American Diabetes Association claims that diet soda can lead to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

According to data presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference in 2011, researchers studied 2,564 participants and found those who drank diet soda every day had a 48% higher risk of having a stroke or other vascular incident than those who didn't drink it at all.

While some of the numerous studies conclude it is bad or even dangerous to consume diet soda, other studies try to dismiss it and conclude that it is not really good but it is not as bad as thought. Confused? Does that sound like an attempt to find an excuse for all the soda and diet soda lovers? This begs the question whether this kind of study is not conducted at the instigation of the market… According to Reuters, industry experts say the beverage industry is shrinking. Even diet-branded drinks have suffered a loss of sales because of concerns over artificial sweeteners.

Aspartame Is a Poison

A lot of Americans consume a lot of diet soda, so the concerns over artificial sweeteners are significant. Aspartame (the main sweetener in diet soda) is one of the most dangerous ingredients used in our food supply. A long list of symptoms of the side effects of aspartame look suspicious, like the symptoms of fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis. According to a 2014 study on the neurobehavioral effects of aspartame consumption, the artificial sweetener remains one of the most controversial food additives due to the mixed evidence of its effects. In this study, researchers put people on a high aspartame diet compared to a low aspartame diet. The high dose -- 25 mg/kg -- was only half the adequate daily intake set by the FDA. The FDA says one can safely consume 50 mg/kg a day. But after just eight days with half of the daily recommendation, participants were more irritable, exhibited more depression, and performed worse on certain brain function tests. The conclusion says: “Given that the higher intake level tested here was well below the maximum acceptable daily intake level (50 mg in USA and 40 mg in Europe per kilogram of body weight per day), careful consideration is warranted when consuming food products that may affect neurobehavioral health.”

For good health, it is best to avoid or, at least, limit chemicals and stay hydrated with water. It's as simple as that.

Break Your Addiction

If you are a daily drinker of diet soda, you might already be addicted to its sweet taste in combination with bubbles and caffeine. If it is essential to moderate your diet soda consumption, cut it down slowly. As for how to quit, here are a few ideas: keep it out of your home, carry a bottle of water with you all the time so you don't get thirsty, and, if there are certain foods that you always eat with a diet soda, try to eat something else. Try not to have diet soda often; save it just for special occasions. Substitute a can a day with carbonated water or seltzer. To add sweetness, use honey or stevia, and for a flavored drink, use fresh or frozen fruit. Any types of berries, melon, lemon, and oranges are great. You can add mint or cucumber to freshen up your drink. Later on, you can try to exclude the bubbles. And one more tip - a glass of wine goes much better with dinner than a diet Coke.

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