It seems like so many people are overtly indulging in diet soda. Having the word “diet” in the name makes us feel its okay or safe to overindulge.
Diet sodas offer no calories with the taste of sweetness (usually surpassing that of regular sugar by 200 times). No wonder it has appealed to so many worldwide. A regular 12 oz can of soda has approximately 150 calories, while the same can of diet soda has zero calories. It gives us what we crave the most, a guilt-free soda. So the choice seems obvious and simple, right?
Actually, there are clear dangers in drinking it. New studies indicate that sodas with artificial sweeteners can cause serious health problems.
A study conducted in 2012 showed that daily consumption of diet soda increased the chances of heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and weight gain… that's right, weight gain! A study conducted by University of Texas Health Science Center found that those who drink two or more diet sodas per day have a greater risk of becoming overweight with an average increase of the waistline by 500%. Why does this happen? A study from Purdue University suggested that artificial sweeteners can disrupt the body’s natural ability to regulate calorie intake in regards to sweet foods. Since artificial sweeteners are almost 200 times sweeter than sugar, it can increase our body's craving for sweet foods.
Other studies conducted in recent years have also shown an increased risk of preterm delivery during pregnancy, erosion of teeth, dehydration, and allergic conditions such as asthma and hives.
There was a case of a woman who was hospitalized because she only consumed diet soda. She had not consumed water in over a decade. While in the hospital, doctors found extremely low levels of potassium which contributed to her erratic heartbeat. The doctors asked her to restrain from drinking diet soda. Within 10 days her symptoms disappeared.
In the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (American Diabetes Association), daily consumption of diet soda was associated with a 67% greater risk of type 2 diabetes and 36% greater risk for metabolic syndrome.
Although the FDA approved the use of artificial sweeteners and ruled out cancer risk, we really do not know the long term effect or its correlation with cancer. There are independent studies which are investigating this correlation.
Did you know diet sodas also contain something that regular sodas do not? They contain benzoate, a preservative which happens to be a mold inhibitor. Benzoate is classified as a mild irritant to the skin, eyes, and all mucous membranes by the Food Commission in the U.K. Benzoate is also known to do severe damage to the mitochondria of cells, which studies show may greatly contribute to autism.
Harvard Medical School conducted a decade long study. Their findings suggested consumption of diet soda lead to a 2x increased risk for kidney dysfunction.
The side effects go on and on. Hope this was an eye-opener for those of you who drink diet sodas or know someone who does.
Stay healthy and happy.