“Water is boring.”
“It has zero calories, so it can’t be bad for me.”
“I’m trying to lower my sugar intake. ”
There are plenty of reasons people use to drink diet sodas, but as we learn more about what goes into diet sodas, the less viable those reasons are.
It was once believed that diet sodas were a legitimate alternative. If you had raging sweet tooth, diet sodas were billed as a way to satisfy that craving without packing in the calories and the sugar. Diet Pepsi was first marketed, for example, with emphasis on the cosmetic impact of the product. But is it worth it?
The answer is ‘no, absolutely not’.
Artificial sweeteners have been the center of debate for over a decade now. Sensational stories link it to cancer, even lupus. People still continue to question the validity of these studies. But that doesn’t mean diet sodas are good for you, or should be considered OK to consume.
Hungry? It Could Be Your Diet Soda
Calories have been given a bad rap. The body needs calories to survive. When you drink something with zero calories, you are playing a trick on your body. Whenever you eat, your body begins a chain reaction, preparing to digest the food you eat. When you drink a zero calorie soda, your body can become confused because it’s gaining no energy or nutrition from digestion. The result: you feel hungrier.
Diet sodas don’t fulfill the promise of sugars and energy that your body is expecting, and kicks your hunger drive into gear.
How Could Something So Sweet, Be So Bad?
Our bodies do not need sugar. We obtain a form of it, glucose, naturally from foods like potatoes, bread and vegetables (carbohydrates), but this doesn’t stop us from craving those sweet things.
Artificial sweeteners are a hundredfold more sweet than regular sugar. If you drink diet sodas filled with these fake sugars, your tongue will start to think that taste is what ‘sweet‘ is. Prolonged consumption of artificial sweeteners may create an issue, where naturally sweet foods, such as fruit or honey, don’t taste as sweet and no longer satisfy cravings.
Diet or No Diet Soda?
Diet Sodas are bad for you, but so are non-diet sodas. Carbonated beverages have something called phosphoric acid. Along with the carbon dioxide, it’s what makes it fizz. This substance makes soda more acidic than lemon juice (even vinegar) and the sweetness is added to mask that acidity. Studies have linked phosphoric acid to loss in bone density.
If you are looking to start living a healthier lifestyle, or to lose weight, switching to zero calorie or diet sodas might seem like an easy step to take. After a while, you may not notice that weird aftertaste. Alas, with all things in health and wellness, the easy step is not always the best one. If you just can’t give up those fizzy drinks, the best thing you can do is limit yourself on regular soda and reduce your intake to special occasions, with a pre-determined meal.
Zero calories does not mean zero side-effects.