Have you ever ordered a diet soda thinking you were being healthy and dieting? Or at least healthier than the regular soda? What if I told you that diet soda was in no way a part of healthy eating? That in fact, you are only trading one poison for another with diet vs. regular soda?
Unfortunately a lot of people believe that eating fat-free, low-fat, or diet is a part of conscious living. And why wouldn’t they? That is what we have been marketed to as healthy isn’t it? Let’s take a closer look at diet soda to see what they are replacing the processed sugars with in the drink.
Diet Soda: the sugar in soda is replaced with artificial sweeteners and other additives for weight loss purposes. Studies are finding that artificial sweeteners increase risk of:
- Excessive weight gain
- Metabolic syndrome
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Metabolic derangements! (Swithers)
On top of that, there is evidence to suggest that diet soda is helping fuel the obesity epidemic in the U.S. and not helping it (Fowler). Following that startling thought, diet soda consumption alone has been linked to:
- Kidney dysfunction
- Obesity (Fagherazzi).
One of the main artificial sweeteners in diet soda is aspartame (APM). One study, after evaluating APM said it was a “multipotential carcinogenic agent” even at 20 mg/kg which is much less than the current acceptable daily intake! (Soffritti).
Diet soda is not a health food… not even close. Soda of any kind should be taken out of your diet as soon as possible. There is nothing redeeming about it and it is only fighting against living a healthy and conscious life. It is unfortunate that many of us live in a society that puts marketing and profits ahead of health and longevity.
Some good replacements for soda are adding real fruit to your water (raspberries and mint leaves), tea, kombucha, green smoothies, cold pressed juices, and coconut water. Try to stay away from most fruit juices. Getting rid of soda of any kind can be difficult, but you can make it much easier with finding something else that you like to drink in its place. Break the habit and start living a healthier lifestyle now!
To learn about what fat free, low fat, and light really means, check out our post What Does Free-Free, Low Fat, and Light Really Mean?
Fagherazzi G, Vilier A, Saes Sartorelli D, et al: Consumption of artificially and sugar-sweetened beverages and incident type 2 diabetes in the Etude Epidemiologique aupres des femmes de la Mutuelle Generale de l’Education Nationale-European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort. Am J Clin Nutr 2013.
Soffritti, Morando, Fiorella Belpoggi, Davide Degli Esposti, Luca Lambertini, Eva Tibaldi, and Anna Rigano. “First experimental demonstration of the multipotential carcinogenic effects of aspartame administered in the feed to Sprague-Dawley rats.” Environmental Health Perspectives 114, no. 3 (2006): 379.