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The Myth of 'Diet' Sodas
and Why You Should Avoid Them
It's a common misconception that drinking diet sodas as opposed to regular sodas will shed unwanted pounds. After all, a typical 20-ounce bottle of cola contains around 180 calories, whereas the same 20-ounce serving of diet cola contains zero calories. We all know the role calories play in weight loss (or gain), so you might assume that switching to diet sodas would help you slim down. Unfortunately, this isn't the case, and several recent studies have even suggested them to have the opposite effect by contributing to weight gain.
According to the Center For Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, soda is the biggest source of added sugar in the American diet. Sugar wrecks the body in a number of ways, some of which includes suppressing the immune system, increasing the chance of cardiovascular disease, gum disease, tooth decay, early aging, and of course weight gain. With such a long laundry list of health problems, it's no wonder why so many people look towards the calorie-free, sugar-free alternative of diet sodas.
The Truth About Diet Sodas
A study performed by researchers at the University of Texas found diet soda drinkers had a 70% increase in their waist size as opposed to people who only drank water. The study also revealed that participants who drank a minimum (some people drank much more) of two diet sodas per day experienced a 500% increase in their waist size.
In addition to weight gain, diet soda is also known to increase the chance of type 2 diabetes. The University of Minnesota performed a study which revealed the link between metabolic syndrome and the consumption of diet sodas. Individuals who drank at least one diet soda per day were 36% more likely to develop metabolic syndrome, which in turn places them at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and numerous other health problems.
Isn't Diet Soda Sugar-Free?
Yes, most diet sodas on the market are sugar-free, which is one of the reasons why so many people believe they are a smarter choice. Sugar is a completely useless ingredient that offers no nutritional value, so it's a good idea to limit, or even eliminate, your daily consumption of it. But don't assume that diet sodas are a better choice simply because they are sugar-free.
So, what's the deal with diet sodas? The truth is that no one knows exactly why they are bad for you. One of the most common theories among medical professionals and nutrition experts is that diet soda triggers something in the brain. When you drink an artificially sweetened beverage, your brain 'expects' calories so it begins the conversion of sugar that's currently in the body into fat. Of course, these calories never come so the body continues to convert its stored sugar into excess body fat – even though there are no calories being consumed.
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