Is Diet Soda Bad for You?
The first thing we try to restrict when getting the occasional divine revelations of guarding our body and becoming health conscious is sugar! We switch from regular cheese to low fat cheese, regular milk to low fat milk, regular mayo to low fat mayo, regular soda to diet soda, and basically everything bearing a label of ‘low-fat’ finds its way to our cabinets and fridge!
This article is especially aimed at that segment of our population who order a big juicy burger with large fries, accompanied by none other than the beloved diet soda. The calorie infested burger, toppled with fatty meat, smothered in cheese, and dripping with mayo, with the very self consuming fries which happen to be notorious for the fat content they muster, a diet soda becomes pointless.
With obesity becoming far more widespread, the advent of diet sodas has taken us up with a storm! These drinks may be zero calorie and zero sugar, are consistent of primarily carbonated water and artificial sweeteners, colorants and additives, they carry other harmful effects. Consuming these may not be the wisest of all moves!
However, that’s just a personal choice. But, before thinking you are treating your body like the shrine it should be worshipped as, well, you are not! Recent studies have shown for diet soda to have quite a detrimental impact on health, surprisingly more so than regular soda itself. That is how much the recent studies deviate from the very well versed taboo we’ve all known forever! Here are some reasons why diet soda should not be your first switch when practicing health consciousness.
Diet Soda, The Metabolic Syndrome And Type 2 Diabetes
Metabolic syndrome is a collection of symptoms such as those of raised blood pressure, reduced HDL or good cholesterol, insulin resistance and fat accumulation. Recent studies conducted on diet soda have displayed a positive correlation between the metabolic syndrome and consumption of diet soda, whereas regular soda had no effect whatsoever in contributing towards metabolic syndrome.
Another study conducted showed for daily diet soda consumption to have increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by a whopping 67%! However, these result as are limited to a very small and negligible number of studies. For the results to hold significance, more research is required for a more solid correlation to be established.
Diet Soda And Weight Gain
Even though diet soda may not directly play a part in weight gain, there are two reasons why recent studies have found a positive correlation to be there between consumption the two! Firstly, researchers concluded that most diet soda drinkers follow an otherwise poor diet. Their primary reason for consuming diet sodas is because they believe it will mitigate the harmful effects and make up for the calories of the other unhealthy choices they make in regard to their dietary habits. This philosophy does hold relevance and does make sense. If I saved a penny for every time I saw something ordering a diet soda with a large cheese pizza or a juicy meaty burger, I would be rich!
The second reason researchers have come down to is more psychological based. They state, that by consuming artificial sweeteners we trick the brain to believe they are actual sweeteners. This makes the body expect for an energy rush that is otherwise accompanied with calories provided by sweeteners. When this expectation does not get fulfilled, we may overeat to satisfy the energy rush the body is craving! Furthermore, artificial sweeteners may potentially dull the taste buds, leading to consumption of more high calorie and highly flavored food to curb the cravings!
Diet Soda And Heart Disease, Or Not?
To date, only one study has been conducted showing a positive relationship between diet soda consumption and an increase in risk of heart problems such as strokes and heart attacks. More evidence is required to confirm these findings. So, is diet soda really bad for your heart? Some researchers have conflicting results. One such interesting research shows that diet soda consists of sodium, aspartame and caffeine. Aspartame, being a common non caloric sweetener, does not directly contribute to weight gain, which makes it a risk factor for heart disease, the AHA has approved of aspartame as a rather heart friendly alternative! The AHA recommends replacing sugar and other sweeteners that are caloric in nature, with the non caloric aspartame!
Both regular sodas and diet sodas carry some similar health concerns, including tooth decay, bone mass reduction, kidney damage etc. However, there is not enough evidence to date over the gravity of the disadvantageous impacts diet sodas alone may have on health. In order to confirm results, more research data needs to be gathered, as the question ,’is diet soda bad for you’, still remains an ambiguity and a perplexing concern.